Tag Archives: Australian Financial Review

When we shift the sands

Sit down and consider a simple question: ‘When was the last time you got played?‘ Not by some sexual partner you wanted, or some deal where the profit remained absent, not the kind that truly takes life’s pleasure away (for a lot of people), the kind where we see that whatever sport you love to watch, being it the NBA, NFL, NHL, IFL, Premiere League or Cricket. When was the time you sat down and knowingly were watching a game that was rigged? How much fun will you have when you start watching the game, knowing it was rigged by others who have profit in mind? How much fun will that game be to you than? Not after the fact, but you in this example you get to know the game has been rigged before the start. How much fun will the game be at that point? To give a slightly better illustration, There was an earlier article by me on March 19th 2014 when I wrote ‘Any sport implies corruption!‘, which dealt with some of the parts of the Qatar 2022 allegations. In there I refer to several links that give us the initial important quotes: “The 2026 World Cup television rights in North America were awarded without a bid to Fox and Telemundo, who had complained about the Qatar schedule change, for which they hold the broadcast rights“, “Six European federations demanded Fifa clean up its act. Three top commercial backers, Coca-Cola, Adidas and McDonald’s, did so too” and “Of the 11 men who voted on 2018 and 2022 World Cups who are no longer on Fifa’s executive committee, only five provided answers to Garcia’s inquiry. Two could not be located at all“. This is how the sport becomes a joke and a mere vassal for corruption and commercial exploitation. Now consider the fact that a person gets the ‘honour’ to become an official, elected to give a vote on who would be the best nation to represent soccer, there are not small people, they tend to be directly linked to captains of industry, the kind that are on the Forbes 500 list. So when we see ‘Two could not be located at all‘, my pondering becomes ‘Who got them assassinated?’ You see assassinating a person is simple, getting rid of the body evenly so, the trick is to know the rules of evidence and not leave any for the prosecution. The Qatar allegations implied a new shot to a billion dollar industry. If these people ask questions, YOU WILL BE FOUND!

The entire mess left me with a bad taste in my mouth.

The BBC comment (at http://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-31605149/2022-world-cup-scudamore-very-disappointed-with-decision), shows bigotry and greed all in one setting, with “Premier League Chief Executive Richard Scudamore has said that he is “very disappointed” with the recommendation of a Fifa taskforce to hold the 2022 World Cup in Qatar in November and December. Mr Scudamore told the BBC that the European leagues felt let down, both by Fifa and Uefa“, it is bigotry because it shows plain intolerance for those in different time zones and seasons. And these people are back in the game now!

In addition, there are still issues with the Sunday Times on that. At the time, also quoted by CNN (as stated at https://lawlordtobe.com/2014/07/28/the-old-reasons/), in ‘The Old Reasons‘ we see “We’ve seen millions of documents that prove without a shadow of doubt that corruption was involved. There is clear evidence linking payments to people who have influence over the decision of who hosted the World Cup“, were these people ever subpoenaed, was the evidence, if not, were the editors prosecuted in any way shape or form? No, they were not and nothing was given or achieved. Some of the players understood that the price might be too high. As the FIFA got rid of their corrupt bladder, or is that Sepp Blatter? We now see a second push. Suddenly FIFA found a former president to fall on his sword. Consider that NOW; we see that there are allegations that Nicholas Sarkozy took bribes regarding Qatar 2022. The timing is almost flawless, you see, this will not be a long event, some of the players like the Lard dealer McDonald’s and his clown, The fuzzy dilution to sugar, namely Coca Cola and credit hog system Visa are all about maximising their potential, that is not possible in Qatar, and as such they need it changed and it can only be done if the switch is in weeks, not months. I reckon that these players will ‘suddenly’ give loads of support to whomever takes over, which might be likely the US. I am speculating that if Qatar is suddenly deprived for other reasons, we will see that Atlanta will become the winner (Morocco was never a realistic player on their bid), and guess what, Atlanta will within a few months claim that they can push the event ahead and would be able to get 2 years ahead of schedule. The one nation that has been unable to keep time lines and budgets for DECADES is now suddenly achieve the ability to be ahead of schedule. Now, this is pure speculation, yet in light of ‘sudden allegations‘ which implies an actual need for evidence, evidence that was never available in 2014 and 2015 is suddenly there in 2017? That is beside the joke that the Sunday Times (mainly their editor Martin Ivens) has proven to be with ‘We’ve seen millions of documents‘, I doubt that, I very much if he even looked at 1% of that amount of documents in his studies to get to his A levels, so there is that!

My anger is not about him, I don’t know him. It is the blatant level of facilitation that is shown towards big business and media needs, the sports fan be damned. The media REFUSED to do anything about Sepp Blatter for the longest of times. They did whatever they could to minimise the people of being exposed to Andrew Jennings, the investigative reporter in all this. When you Google ‘Andrew Jennings‘ and FIFA in Google, see how much news comes up, see how the media skates around the central person who exposed the levels of corruption that FIFA had embraced, you’ll find very little. These are part of the shifting sands. I reckon that the entire Saudi-Qatar pressures have not helped any. It merely opened the door for big business to see if they can push towards their advantage.

It is the Australian Financial Review that gives us “Sarkozy’s lawyer, Thierry Herzog, denied any wrongdoing by his client and pointed out that Garcia’s report stated “no evidence was found” linking Platini’s vote with any investments. A source claimed the investigation was “politically motivated”. A spokeswoman for the National Financial Prosecutor’s Office said that they were “carrying out two separate preliminary inquiries” into the Veolia deal and the Qatar World Cup bid“, in this there are two parts. The question why there is a political motivation regarding a former president (there might be, I just wonder how political it could be). The second part is that there had been several issues with the Garcia report first it was withheld, then there was only a summary and after that he leaves. Several sources gave us “Head of the investigatory chamber of FIFA’s Ethics Committee, Michael Garcia, has resigned from his post after FIFA’s Disciplinary Committee dismissed his appeal against the summary of the 430-page report that Hans Joachim Eckert, head of the Ethics Committee’s adjudicatory chamber, issued on 13 November 2014.In the appeal, Garcia calls Eckert’s summary of his report on the 2018/2022 World Cup bidding process “incomplete and erroneous”.“, which happened around the 17th of December 2014. So now the report is merely used, merely observed or neither? In all this Joachim Eckert has played a role to some extent, the summary can be seen as evidence on that. In all usage there are several more questions and we had seen a lot of mentions at the time. The fact that Joachim Eckert was pretty much thrown out of the building in May 2017 implies that there is a chance he had the option, and opportunity (a speculative statement) to ‘foul’ plenty of other parts, giving more and more questions regarding the actions of Qatar, I am willing to go as far as to state that none of the evidence should be allowed into any court or be used in any decision until a board that includes Andrew Jennings and Michael J. Garcia and that board would have to investigate every piece of evidence offered. In addition, if any evidence is found that gives rise (not necessarily proves) that McDonald’s, Coca Cola and Visa had any hand in any of these events, they must be banned as FIFA advertiser and sponsor for 15 years, see if that refocusses their need for greed!

I admit that my emotions are getting the better of me, and I also agree that this is not a good thing. The shifting sands of greed and corruption have gone too far. It is bad enough to see corporate greed in your almost daily life. It is quite another when the sport has become so commercialised that corporations and the media decide on how the sport is played beyond the levels they were already doing it nowadays. You see it is the Financial Times who gave us some of the goods yesterday (at https://www.ft.com/content/36f8ceca-76d2-11e7-90c0-90a9d1bc9691). In this we might notice ‘Gulf media unleashes war of words with Qatar‘, and in addition we see ‘Saudi-led alliance weaponises satellite channels after exhausting diplomatic arsenal‘, yet someone has been considering the longer play and the impact that depriving Qatar 2022 might be. I think that this was short sighted by those players. I always believed that sports could unite disagreeing parties, pushing sport away limits the options for all parties in this. I also believe that the players in Saudi Arabia made an error, a serious one. When we consider “Riyadh and its allies escalated the crisis so rapidly that they have few left themselves with few realistic options to apply more pressure on Qatar, the top exporter of liquefied natural gas” as well as “Some Saudi journalists say they have come under government pressure to criticise Qatar. One Saudi editor described how officials have been using a mobile phone messaging group to instruct journalists on how to shape coverage and what stories to focus on. “These are orders, not suggestions,” he says“. The issue is seen in other ways, not the ways stated in the article. In this Ahmed Al Omran made the flaw that he did not consider (my personal view). You see, I never much looked into the matter of Saudi Television, mainly because I do not speak the language (or live there) and I reckon that the stations do not come with subtitles, which is fair enough. So when I quote the Wiki statement “State-run television consists of four channels: Saudi One, the main channel in Arabic launched in 1963; Saudi Two, an English language channel; Al Riyadiah, a sports channel; and the news channel Al Ekhbariya. Government-owned terrestrial television has changed little since 1969” that was what I expected to see. Even as Saudi Arabia has over 30 million people, the idea of these stations was not shocking in any way. The UK merely had BBC one and two for a much longer time frame. Yet, then I looked up and found MBC, the Middle East Broadcasting Center, when we look at that we see a lot more. At http://www.mbc.net/en.html (there is an English version) we see something more commercial looking, we see opportunity for Saudi Arabia. Not the mention of “how to shape coverage and what stories to focus on. “These are orders, not suggestions,”“, that is where the flaw is. To change it Saudi Arabia should have been creating its own Al-Jazeera, they forgot the truth and freedom of the press is the double edged sword that works for any nation. As people decide to censor and shape news, not report it, they become the one not being watched. If exposure is power than exposing media corruption is the strongest most powerful exposure we know. It is the kryptonite against governments that play the crooked media game, often the governments are no longer in charge, the media decides and they tend to decide whatever their sponsors and stakeholders tell them to. We have seen that time and time again, I have reported (read: blogged) on this again and again. In all this, the level of exposure is the calibre that turns any BB gun into the deadly weapon it needs to be. So as we see an escalating play using peaceful means, the players forgot that there are many more millions watching and some do not know all the facts, I reckon that there are many in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt are only apprised of the Al-Jazeera view. I am not stating it is a wrong or incorrect view. Yet the reality is that there are always three sides to a story, your side, their side and the truth, because the truth when spoken (or written) is always smitten with elements of compassion, valor or honesty. We see this in ‘A man threw another man into the sand‘, yet when we realise that the truth unspoken was that the man saw the scorpion, or he saw that his bisht caught fire, only then do we see that one man did not throw, the other man was not thrown. We see that there was an act to protect and safe a life. It is a very simplified example, but there tends to be points of view in any truth, the question is which exposure matters? Al-Jazeera grew as there was no alternative. We now know that there could be competition, as the west in equal measure have grown tired and distrustful of Fox News, CNN, TRT World and a few others, we see that there are still places to grow. Yet in this ‘These are orders, not suggestions’ will not carry weight in the visibility of any news channel.

The shifting sands are treacherous and offer dangers, yet in equal measure they offer opportunity to those who see them as such. We see how large corporations are taking whatever steps they can, try to get every opportunity, whilst hoping to manoeuvre their competitors into a place where they step and the sands drown them. That is the game and how it is played, yet at times we see that large corporations have been taking their game too far and as such, when they trespass on the things we hold for granted and holy, than we see the injustice and we demand clarity. In this large corporations try to make the moves that remain always one step away from that. The fact that we see these attempts against Qatar 2022, has nothing to do with Qatar, they have to do with the process they set up, large corporations demand that they win every time, so now, when they will not win, but at best play even, now we see the petulant children they are and the consequences of enabling them to the extent that they have been. Many (not just me) are upset. For the most they are not all soccer fans. Some merely want facilitation of as many games as possible, every day another match and as there is an overlap, some of the participators now get upset, they go into tantrum mode. Yet the realisation that you grew the exploitation game with 209 FIFA members, did they not expect that they would get the losing ticket at least once? So when it is not Qatar, but Samoa or Cuba? What happens then? What happens when Mauritius gets the sponsors it needs to host, how will that upset everything? This is the part that everyone ignored, because those nations could not afford to host, yet Qatar was another matter altogether. This is the first time that the exploitative engine that is FIFA, saw the cogs they designed work against them. Now there is an issue and we see that several players are in a state of panic, there were no options but to lose this one round. The pressures through Saudi Arabia have changed panic into opportunity; they just need the right person to fall on their sword. The question is how willing is Nicholas Sarkozy in all this and who is the party that voiced the allegations? Where is their evidence? These are all questions that are more likely than not to come with false answers, that is, until the games are done, we can expect some sudden revelation, humble apologies and carefully phrased denials and innuendo from politicians and media soon thereafter (likely at the immediate same time). Their question would be closed soon after the need of their assassinations. Oh, my bad! I meant to say: “The involved parties could not be located for comments and response in any way shape or form“, apparently that is how events are shaped with and because of large corporations.

 

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Up for grabs

Have you ever considered a deal that is almost too sweet to consider. Have you ever walked straight into a room seeing that one special item thinking that the price is off, too good to be true. Yet, you look again, as inconspicuous as possible and as you do the maths in your head three times over, you start to realise that you are there, others are there but they either missed the deal, or they were looking at something else. That is where I find myself this morning. Not unlike a day in 2001, as I walked into a small obscure bookshop where I noticed the original 7 hardcover books of Tolkien’s the Lord of the rings with his autograph, the price? £39, I felt like a thief when I paid the man, he sold it with a blank expression in his eyes. I walked out shaking like a leaf and I remained in denial for at least two more days. This is how I feel now when I look at Handelsblatt Global (at https://global.handelsblatt.com/finance/goldman-sachs-weighs-deep-london-cuts-amid-brexit-concerns-685516), where I see ‘Goldman Sachs Weighs Deep London Cuts amid Brexit Concerns‘, could they actually be this stupid? Could I get my fingers on Goldman Sachs for almost literally an apple and an egg? That is a Dutch expression for selling or purchasing something for anything massively below expected price. Like buying the Ducati 1299 Panigale for only £99.95. It’s a world gone mad, and in this case Goldman Sachs will end up doing their own devaluation. Consider the facts. They move away from the central Hub London, which has been there for a lot longer than the Euro, they are now moving to Germany where there is a civil law system and the KWG (Kreditwesengesetz) is Iron Law. Whilst at the same time, its two nephews German Solvability Directive (SolvV) and German Mindestanforderungen an das Risikomanagement (MaRisk) can rock the foundations of the Goldman Sachs board in Germany in ways they have never comprehended (or so it seems). That is the move they are ‘advertising’? That article, with a picture of Lloyd Blankfein, the CEO of Goldman Sachs, like he is looking out of a window wondering where the hell his retirement is at. At that same move, we see the quote “Personnel in Goldman’s trading business who develop new products as opposed to advising customers would move to the bank’s headquarters in New York, the sources said“, so those making new products will move away from the area of the people buying it, so they either fly back and forth (impacting contribution) or work remotely alienating their customer base. So is this a serious considered move?

If so, than Goldman Sachs needs to realise fast that once their UK base is deflated to the size they claim, and when the Frexit vote passes, Italy and Germany will not have any options to keep it all afloat. More important, with logistical options diminished and having pissed off France and England, they would have to face conditions to move to France and they end up not getting a foothold into the UK to the degree they once had, because the competitors of Goldman Sachs, like Morgan Stanley would have gobbled up a few of the London links Goldman Sachs lost, in addition, CITIC who took a few body blows will be hungry for whatever Goldman Sachs left in the air as they moved to the mainland, lowering the value of Goldman Sachs overall. In that atmosphere Lloyd Blankfein needs to realise that the move is more than just a bad idea. Perhaps he does know, perhaps this is another shot over the bough to the UK telling them to play nice or else. This from a firm who in a 639-page report was accused of misleading investors and setting out to depress the US mortgage market, ensuring that it would win high stakes bets that the market would fall. That firm is playing footsie and chicken with the UK? Well, that is one that they will not just lose, it will be the act that any person with an apple and egg (preferably boiled hard) could walk into the board of directors offering that as payment for the firm. I wonder who in that board of directors will take the offer first. For the Macquarie group the move would be very nice, that group could grow a lot. They might resort to taking the small fish that Goldman Sachs left alone, but those 800 firms might not have stellar results, but they have remained stable for at least half a decade and even as we agree that stable is not sexy, it does make for a very nice secure foundation to grow on, good luck getting such results from Poland, France or Spain. and as France and Spain are founded on the local markets for language reasoning, the Frexit groups will see Goldman Sachs as a remnant of dire pasts, is that regard there is (a speculation by me) the chance that Goldman Sachs would, through the move facilitate the customers they had to port away as those clients are no longer represented through London, which still has a sizeable value to the clients they had whilst in London.

You might think that this is all untrue and that Goldman Sachs will continue in London in a diminished capacity. Well, consider that one of the largest greed driven entities is downsizing by 50%, do you think that this is merely a corporate downsize? the 50% moving away had its jobs to do, by doing it somewhere else, it is not doing in an additional location, it is doing it in another place, with a different set of admin laws and goals. If you had an accountant, and he is sacking 50% of its staff, do you think you get the same level of service, or is it possible that whomever remains in London needs to look at twice the amount of clients? And if we accept that, how much care will you receive at the same amount of annual contribution? With its posturing Goldman Sachs forgot the cardinal rule, it needs clients and clients in the UK remain, clients remain but their perception on begotten service will diminish and they will seek the firm giving them the service that they expect to receive, the time they expect to receive and GS will be only half its size with other offices in different time zones. So yes, there will be a consequence for Goldman Sachs. The offer that seems too good to be true. So as CITIC, Morgan Stanley start their campaigns, their visibility with advertisement like: ‘the firm that has been in London for the longest of times remains, and we will give the same amount of attention and resources, dedicated to you, your business and what you need‘. That firm could start up softening the Goldman Sachs clients and the moment the announcement of the move comes they just need to invite those clients to a nice breakfast meeting with a deal ready to be considered for signing. You see, the moment the move is announced and the moment Frexit will seriously start, the investors will realise that the UK market was a lot more important and when XNYS:GS hits (-4.62%), I’ll just walk in holding an Apple and an Egg seeing who in the board of directors will take the deal.

As HSBC and UBS are closing ranks with Goldman Sachs, you have to consider that I am wrong!

That is only fair. Let’s face it, I have no economic degree. Yet, when Brexit came, when it became something serious, these people were all ignoring it, they were all claiming that it would never go this far. I was proven correct and now the Financial Gravy Train is changing gears as it’s not as profitable as some expected it to remain, those people are trying to restore their Status Quo and their amount of gravy per pay check. Yet, the unfounded move, the emotional outcry of these people making no less than 50 times the average income, those people are trying to force open a dialogue and a new place of exploitation. The quote: “UBS chairman Axel Weber said that about 1000 of the Swiss bank’s 5,000 employees in London could be affected by Brexit, while HSBC Chief Executive Stuart Gulliver said his bank will relocate staff responsible for generating around a fifth of its UK-based trading revenue to Paris” is actually a lot more funny than even he realised (at http://www.afr.com/business/banking-and-finance/goldman-sachs-hsbc-ubs-all-warn-of-moving-jobs-from-london-on-brexit-20170118-gtu8cj). You see, Frexit is still growing and it is slowly becoming a realistic prospect. So when the Wall Street Journal stated 15 hours ago “A “Frexit” would likely unleash chaos across the currency union and undermine the broader EU in a way Britain’s departure wouldn’t“, we now see that those 20% revenue generating people from UBS will be on the shores of a Civil Law country  whilst the confusion is only increasing. As for the other part of me being correct, we’ll have to make this small sidestep. On May 15th 2013 (yes 3.5 years ago), I forecasted in ‘A noun of non-profit‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2013/05/15/a-noun-of-non-profit) “Consider a large (really large) barge, that barge was kept in place by 4 strong anchors. UK, France, Germany and Italy. Yes, we to do know that most are in shabby state, yet, overall these nations are large, stable and democratic (that matters). They keep the Barge EU afloat in a stable place on the whimsy stormy sea called economy. If the UK walks away, then we have a new situation. None of the other nations have the size and strength of the anchor required and the EU now becomes a less stable place where the barge shifts. This will have consequences, but at present, the actual damage cannot be easily foreseen“, I made the prediction of loss of stability, in addition, a quote not from me “Movements in sovereign spreads affect CDS spreads and bond yields of Italian banks, and are transmitted rapidly to firm lending rates“, this was predicted by Edda Zoli at the IMF. Do some of you remember the issues in Italy on losing the credit rating it had is now a clear marker to consider. Even as the parameters for the Italian downturn are not matching completely the elements in play include the ones I and Zoli stated, meaning that Italy will get a few more negative bumps to deal with (not major ones though).

You still think I am that wrong? I have been involved with data cleaning for decades, I have seen the ‘weighting games‘ some played and now that the party is over, they are running for the high ground, whilst making boasts of clearing away from the market like horse traders. This is all fine, yet the players that are not as big can now shore up their levels of stability growing their overall value by a massive amount, because that is where the UK now is, its economic forecast is growing and the rash statements are doing the opposite as the competitive peers of Goldman Sachs are almost volunteering their free time to help Goldman Sachs pack up and leave the UK so that they can move in on the Goldman Sachs share, because there is no way that Goldman Sachs will not lose a fair chunk of it.

So as Frexit grows (I never expected it to be this strong at present, just a really serious factor), we now see that Marine Le Pen is now leading the polls for the first time after taking advantage of Fillon’s declining popularity among France’s working class voters. I think that this is not the only part, the increased forecast of the UK is doing equal reinforcement of the end of the Euro and perhaps even the end of the European Economic Community. Not because that was the goal, but the fact that all these small nations were too deep in debt and Italy, the third anchor is in massive problems, that large barge cannot remain afloat with only the German anchor in place. My view of 2013 is now showing to be the correct one.

Is it a done deal? No it is not. Someone with actual power in Goldman Sachs could realise that these boast fests are counterproductive and that the boasts only achieved that some doors can no longer be opened by Goldman Sachs. They would have to call, make a proper appointment and they would have to sweeten whatever deal they are hoping for, impacting their dividend in the process. Goldman Sachs played a hand that held a few Trump cards (pun intended) and without those the next few hands will need to be played extra careful and cautious. You see, they lost a little more because those playing now might not have considered 2012 Amsterdam. There we see: “De bank verloor in de nasleep van de crisis veel klanten door negatieve berichtgeving over de rol van Goldman Sachs in de kredietcrisis van 2008. De bank wil deze klanten nu terugwinnen. Het nieuwe kantoor moet vooral de dienstverlening naar klanten toe verbeteren” meaning “translated: The bank lost in the aftermath of the crises many customers through negative messaging on the role of Goldman Sachs in the Credit Crises of 2008. The bank wants to regain these customers. The new office will have to increase the service levels to clients“. This part has two sides, not only regarding clients they will lose in London, in addition, the Dutch clients had a benefit in time zones regarding London, and they will not have that with Germany. So there is more than one fish on the Barbie (read: BBQ) and the impact will be felt and smelled. You see, Amsterdam was never an option for Goldman Sachs, yet as more important reasons GS frowned at the capping of bonuses in 2013 as mentioned by minister Dijsselbloem at that time. Which is rather funny as Germany in this 2017 election year is actually moving in hard on to cap executive pay. This we got from Handelsblatt Global Edition just a week ago, so the move could potentially come with a few nasty sides for those working through the move.

OK, I will admit that Goldman Sachs might not be up for grabs, but it should be clear that if they do move, they will be receiving a few body blows and those come at a price for many at Goldman Sachs. The question however is not, if that is the hard part, the hard part comes when the winner is announced in merely 16 weeks, at that point we will see how realistic Frexit has become. You see, it is not just Marine Le Pen and Front National, Independent Emmanuel Macron, former economy minister will also hold the referendum and together they represent a lot more than a mere majority of the French population, the fact that this reverberates with the populous is an issue for too many as he is not proclaimed left or right, he places himself in the middle making the Fremainers a minority with less and less people in it. Making the move of Goldman Sachs to Germany lacking wisdom as France and the UK will have to unite in whatever trade deals they can have meaning that the UK forecast will grow faster and faster, whilst the French forecast will be less and less dire. The only one who gets to look at that label will be Goldman Sachs.

What a difference a boast makes! Could be a nice future Goldman Sachs slogan, if they survive the ordeal!

 

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A New Disney

There was an Italian, who has been famous for over 125 years, he is not the first or the only famous Italian. There was this guy who came up with Pizza, There was this other Italian who thought fast Ford cars were a joke and he created Ferrari, then there was this other Italian, who made tractors, disagreed with the previous Italian and created Lamborghini. It is actually none of those. It is Carlo Lorenzini who was born 190 years ago. You might not know the name, perhaps his alternative name? Carlo Collodi! If you are still in the dark, than remember the story of a wooden boy who wanted to become a real live boy. Steven Spielberg used the notion in AI, but the original remains the best, namely Pinocchio!

Yes, the story of a wooden boy going into the world, yet as a wooden boy he was not alone, there was a little Cricket accompanying him and he would be a lot more important than your average Cricket, Jiminy was his name. Today the story is even more relevant, you see, the name Yemini Cricket might be ringing bells, but the truth of the wooden boy is there. The question becomes, who is the wooden boy?

So when I read ‘US, Britain and UN demand Yemen ceasefire within days‘ (at http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2016/10/16/us-britain-and-un-demand-yemen-ceasefire-within-days),

Yet when I read “The United Nations envoy, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, said: “We are here to call for an immediate cessation of hostilities, which will be declared in the next few hours.” Cheikh Ahmed said he had been in contact with the rebel Huthi militia’s lead negotiator and with Yemeni President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi’s government“, my recollection does not go towards the classical story, it goes to a reference a little closer to the present (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZFZrKOCdHFs), the laughter applies to both the sketch and reality. Aleppo is a great example, how 5 years and 400,000-450,000 fatalities later, no solution is there, but they are still flying to places like Switzerland to talk. I wonder when we add up all the costs, how much did the taxpayer pay for this play?

A number of civilian casualties that have now surpassed the total US Military casualties, of those who died during WW2. Doesn’t that look like a clear message that massive change was required a few years ago? I reckon all the players know that, yet, having long conversations with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, whose only concern is to stall so that the population can be made extinct before the resolution passes, reads a lot more like the Friends edition of Pinocchio, than the original by Carlo Collodi, where we see the conscience that is Jiminy Cricket.

So as we see the beginning of the same slow train in Yemen, I have to wonder if creating a new version of Pinocchio with Yemini Cricket is the way to go. It educates politicians as well as bring some hard needed cash towards Hollywood (or Bollywood).

So why is this different?

To one degree it is not, towards the other degree it is very much so. The problem is that both Syria and Yemen could be on the same page, no degrees of separation. In this case there are two at least. You see, Yemen has limited ties to Russia, making it less complicated, what is the issue is that the Houthi’s are actively shooting missiles at the US Navy complicating matters a lot more. It only takes one direct hit, and Yemen would technically be in a state of war with the US. Now, normally, a bankrupt nation is not that much a bother, but Yemen is not an economic or military superpower, so going against America sounds like a PR approach to get them ‘involved’. What is an issue is that Yemen, the neighbour of Saudi Arabia could get lucky at some point, what happens after the hit will be an issue, because Americans tend to get cranky when you successfully blow up something American. Interesting is that there are now multiple sources claiming that Iran is now moving towards the Red sea. An interesting story as the Red sea is on the other side of the Persian Gulf and Iranian war ships have no actual business there (which could also apply to the Americans). The question becomes how is Saudi placed into all this? Here there are issues too. There is no stating if there is even any link but the changes and the Attention that members of the Saudi government are drawing attention to themselves become a factor (speculation from my side).

One part is from the Australian Financial Review (at http://www.afr.com/news/world/middle-east/saudi-prince-mohammed-bin-salmans-shatters-decades-of-tradition-20161017-gs3yt5), where we see the title ‘Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s shatters decades of tradition‘, is not giving us the ‘goods’. The first quote is “He has slashed the state budget, frozen government contracts and reduced the pay of civil employees, all part of drastic austerity measures as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is buffeted by low oil prices“, which would be quite acceptable in one view, at least it appears that one government in this world is dealing with its budget issues, although not in the most ‘desirable’ way, when a nation is so dependent on oil, there might not be too many options. The second quote is “While vacationing in the south of France, Prince Mohammed spotted a 134-metre yacht. He dispatched an aide to buy the ship, the Serene, then owned by Russian vodka tycoon Yuri Shefler. The deal was done within hours, at a price of approximately €500 million (roughly $720 million today)“, which implies the opposite. The question is not the cut-backs or spending spree, the issue is neither quote, it is the quote I will give now “Many young Saudis admire him as an energetic representative of their generation who has addressed some of the country’s problems with uncommon bluntness. The kingdom’s media have built his image as a hardworking, businesslike leader less concerned than his predecessors with the trappings of royalty” as well as “Others see him as a power-hungry upstart who is risking instability by changing too much, too fast“. So is the prince a go-getter or power-hungry? I cannot tell as this is all based on third degree of information, what matters is how the view and the actions will reflect the counteractions of the US and Iran in regard to Yemen. The moment the conflict results in a direct attack on Saudi grounds, what then? Iranian warships in the Red Sea would only complicate that, making a harsh response from the Saudi Military even more destabilising.

In my view there are two sides within Saudi Arabia, yet how they should be seen is another matter. I do not claim to have a proper view. I have questions. You see Mecca is an Islamic Holy city (the most important one) and it is part of Saudi Arabia, so as Saudi Arabia is the caretaker of this holy site, the involvement if Iran is more than just a small issue. Whatever they decide to escalate could have large repercussions all over the Middle East. The Sovereign State of Saudi Arabia has every right to defend it in every way possible, so Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman is also Minister of Defence and the youngest one in the world, which as a stat sounds nice, yet it also means that in light of other decisions, he is ready to do that what the US has been unable to do, declare war on its enemy by actually acting against them! Not that the US needed to declare war, but in light of Syria, doing anything actively would have been nice, an absence of resolution that His Royal Highness Mohammad bin Salman Al Saud is less likely to show.

What is a problem is the fact that the complications are more and more likely as days go by and that is the one spark that this powder keg does not need. Iran cannot be denied access to international waters, which will not lessen the impact. One of the elements in all this is seen in the second quote regarding the ‘power hungry’ side of it. You see, the AFR article is also mentioning “Mohammed bin Nayef, the interior minister and longtime counter-terrorism czar“, which is now an element in all this. You see, whatever happens next is all surrounding the need for intelligence. So whatever issues there are between His Royal Highness Muhammad bin Nayef bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and His Royal Highness Mohammad bin Salman Al Saud gives wake to the Disney sequel, a tale of two princes. A new approach to the classic Dickens story where the plight of two members of the Royal family of Al Saud are protecting the Sovereign state of Saudi Arabia as well as the safety and security of all Muslims that are in and nearby Mecca. Even as the papers are expecting a ceasefire, the issue is that stalling is equally a tactic here. There is no way of telling why Iran is involving its warships in that region, other than trying to complicate matters and demanding a seat at the table of decision, which would only change the time table in the worst of ways. What the Deutsche Welle did give was the quote “the Saudi-led coalition has blamed an airstrike that killed over 140 people at a funeral ceremony in Yemen on “erroneous information” received from a “party” affiliated with the country’s embattled government“, it matters, because it gives light to the essential issue that the two princes need to rely on quality intelligence, sources that can be scrutinised. And in this matter, mentioning the yacht was to iterate that spending that money on a satellite over the area might not have been the worst personal idea I am having. And let’s face it, any prince that can claim that he has his own satellite wins the discussion with any other prince relying on yacht and status. So many have a yacht, but how many of these rich individuals (very wealthy people in general) would own their own satellite? Especially if it becomes a source of intelligence.

Of course there is a lot more to owning one’s own satellite, but I hope we can all agree that intelligence will be key in whatever escalates over the next week. My issue is that too many players have their own agenda, yet would those agenda’s be truly 100% be focussed on whatever is best for Yemen and/or Saudi Arabia? You see, oil prices are down now, but why and for how long? What happens when prices go through the roof again? What happens then? Suddenly all these political issues are all linked to the price of Oil and the profit it brings?

I do not claim to have these answers, but the fact that too many sources are not asking the questions that require asking is troubling, yet the AFR article gives us a lot more, even more than I bargained for, which is comforting to say the least. What becomes a matter of discussion is the one quote that shows the elements “People who have met Mohammed bin Salman said he insisted that Saudi Arabia must be more assertive in shaping events in the Middle East and confronting Iran’s influence in the region – whether in Yemen, Syria, Iraq or Lebanon“, giving the links that require addressing and the prince is not afraid to do just that, however it take two to dance rings around Iran and taking away its influence in the Middle East. As I see it, Riyadh will have to make changes to some degree. Counter-Intelligence will be key in dealing with Iran and the impression I get when I see a quote like “has deep ties to Washington and the support of many of the older royals” shows the speculative possibility of the older ‘let us see how this plays out‘ against the younger ‘let us get this party started through action‘. It is not about the balance, but about what works best. In that regard both princes might have to make changes a lot faster than they are comfortable with, because if the news is correct, the Iranian ships and submarines will soon be active in the Red Sea, but active to what extent is something that remains speculative, whatever they do, the fact that it includes Iranian submarine presence (as reported but not confirmed), will also raise tensions with Israel.

As I see it, the biggest issue is Iran and what they are trying to get out of it. Putting themselves in the middle of a conflict where they are now trying to imply that it is all about them (especially as they are in the Red Sea), yet is their presence less valid than that of the US? It seems to me that we are creating a new Vietnam, just not with the Russians involved (like Syria). So there are two solutions to consider. One is that the US is replaced by for example the Commonwealth, or France, which takes away the Iranian-US issues. That is, if Saudi Arabia would be willing to consider that move. No matter what, the navy that does that, could find themselves in an armed conflict with Iran, so it better be a competent and modern Navy which leaves not that many options. The Netherlands, the UK, France, South Korea and India. Giving the option to either South Korea or India would benefit, as Iran cannot spin some NATO link story. In addition Iran cannot afford to piss of too many additional nations as either could make short work of the ego of Iran as these navies decide to sink Iranian war vessels like rubber dinghies, because they pushed one button too many.

No matter what happens, Saudi Arabia must do what it can to keep safe and the Yemeni issue is one that tests many sides of those who see and witness it, because there is a dilemma in conscience. A revolution that got out of hand, a set government overthrown with its own agenda. When we see the Houthi’s slogan “God is great, death to the US, death to Israel, curse the Jews, and victory for Islam“, can we really show any kind of support or sympathy?

The most important part to realise is that we need to set aside our version of what is acceptable, we have seen the US and Europe at large impose their version of ‘civility’, whilst bending over, grabbing their ankles and let the financial industry quite literally get away with murder in many ways. We impose rules and expectations, whilst having no clue how to manage a budget or how to stem greed to the point of strangulation. In all this, we have given up the high ground in several fronts, so we are no lecturer with any level of confidence. It is my opinion, that the Middle East can only be decently governed by someone in the Middle East. I personally believe that Saudi Arabia should be at the centre of it, there is no doubt that it would beneficial that a coalition that would include Egypt, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates, but I am not knowledgeable enough to see whether it is just them, or that other players should be seriously considered. What does matter is that both General Intelligence Directorate (GID, aka Mukhabarat) and Jordanian General Intelligence Directorate would be important in ascertaining Iran’s hostile actions and if need be counter them. From my academic point of view is the challenge that the SIGNT of the three would pose to get one coherent reporting and analytical solution on Iranian intelligence. One that would definitely benefit all three nations. Yet perhaps that will evolve into a third Disney project, which could be the next big thing. It’s all just a thought, but think it over for yourself and ask yourself the question you did not hear voiced, this is important, because this stage could get ugly in a hurry and possibly before Christmas this year.

 

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A bit in the stream

Something alerted me towards events this morning in LinkedIn of all places. There was a reference towards an article titled ‘New Accenture boss Bob Easton throws down gauntlet to big four on digital’ (at http://www.afr.com/business/accounting/new-accenture-boss-bob-easton-lays-down-gauntlet-to-big-four-on-digital-20160829-gr3huj ).

The initial quote is “The trouble is there is a lot of people running around talking about digital“, which is true. Bob Easton is right that there is a lot of talk about digital. Yet, when we look at the definitions, I wonder how many have a true grasp of digital. Even I myself wonder when the use ‘digital’ is warranted. You see, when it is media, my photography is digital, so is my filming. Advertisement is digital as it goes through AdWords and not trough the newspapers. Here is the issue. When is something digital? Bob Easton states in the article “they are confusing the market by misunderstanding digital strategy and lacking the global capabilities of his firm“, the fact that IBM took a massive hit is not a surprise because they are confused on the best of times. They still present the 14 managers and 2 technicians approach. I cannot speak for either PricewaterhouseCoopers in this instance, or for EY, but my last encounter with Deloitte gave a much better view on them and they seem to know it (to some extent). So where does this leave Accenture?

The term “moving to aggressively compete for work in the consulting, digital and business transformation space” is only a concern if they do not meet customers’ expectations. So where should they be?

So where should you be? You see Dave Aron from Gartner (at that time) gives me: “A digital strategy is a form of strategic management and a business answer or response to a digital question, often best addressed as part of an overall business strategy“, what I liked was “Every business and public sector agency needs both an IT Strategy and a Digital Business Strategy. They must be highly aligned with each other, but they are not the same thing“, which gives part of the goods, yet when we consider his claim “All aspects of the business strategy should be informed by digital considerations“, we tend to get confused here, because different elements have the same word (read: digital), but in that the setting is not the same.

We can see it as advancements in digital technologies such as computers, data, telecommunications and Internet, which is still true, but how to go about it?

A digital media manager looks at how to get the solutions towards their ROI, which in many turns means to get it all electronically solved, whilst keeping costs to a minimum. Here we see the first failing from IBM as they are about revenue and about getting the business onto their solutions. Even in a step by step solution it is about getting one foot into the door and upsell from there. That is not a solution for the client, it is merely a solution for the sales person’s target.

And in some cases there is no digital path, but to a lot of people that does not exist so they will feign a solution. As an example I have my old dentist, he had a card system so perfect that no IT solution could bring the goods. I saw yuppies in all sizes try to sell him a solution between 1983 and 1995, one failure after another. The mere realisation that not all solutions fit and that some solutions will drive down the ROI in unacceptable ways is why several of these players will never succeed. Because what the client truly needs is never addressed. If we take the approach from Macala Wright (at http://mashable.com/2012/09/05/how-to-digital-strategy/#oc3qMBqfF8qC)

We see a decently clear path. I can quote all the steps again, but the article has them down to a nice clean size, so reading it is a recommendation.

I am downgrading it to these four steps for comfort (read: mine).

  1. Identifying the opportunities and challenges in a business where online assets can provide a solution or a difference.
  2. Identifying the unmet needs and goals of the external stakeholders that most closely align with those key business opportunities and challenges, and especially if there are threats there.
  3. Developing a vision around how the online assets will fulfil those business and external stakeholder needs, goals, opportunities, challenges and threats.
  4. Prioritizing a set of online initiatives which can deliver on this vision.

These steps also include the views Cisco had in step 3, yet it is a watered down list. I am emphasising this as the entire ‘going digital’ is larger and more complex than most realise. When I look at what can be done and what can be achieved we need to realise that this all needs the decision makers to be aligned and in that both IT and business needs must be addressed. Most people going digital seem that it is a cheaper solution towards a better ROI. Yes, it is a path towards a better ROI, which will not make it cheaper. It requires serious investments and not tinkering around with half a dozen people working from home, sending in some finished element. Whilst the Australian Financial Review gives us a chart with Revenue versus margin and adds a little hype by adding AirBnB and Uber in the new business models, we see a forgotten element. You see, these new business models come with a little hook, one was highlighted by Bell Partners, where we see “Some critics argue that Uber drivers are not subject to the same premiums for compulsory third-party (CTP) insurance as taxis, as it is harder to identify an Uber car in an accident“. Is that so? So how does this impact the passenger? Until you are in an accident you might not care, but when the hospital bills come and the Uber player does not have the coverage, you will soon learn that hospitals are very expensive.

There is a lot of truth in the article and it is well worth reading, yet the lack of threats discussed is equally unsettling. The fact that Expenses in the digital world are up and very much so with Accenture is an element, and also a threat. You see, we all understand that there are a lot more expenses coming over (nearly all tax deductable), the matter of a shifting ROI remains and until the model is used to fuel growth the benefit will not be easily seen. For this path requires a globalising mindset. If you want to remain the big cheese in Darlinghurst and that is all you want, you need to consider what sides need the digital approach and what you want to grow. This for the mere reason that costs will come in the early days and if you are ready it is not an issue, if not, your ROI went straight into the basement, good luck enjoying that view!

Depending on your market, it will be about your customers and their experience, if that is not upgraded, then why byte into the digital apple? I truly worry about the bit you do not end up with, as you would limit your position and enable your competitor overnight. This is the part that is not addressed in many places, because everyone is in a sales hat thinking bonus and saying, we can get you onto the digital path! You see, the presentation in the AFR, regarding the digital disruption framework is aptly drawn as a spear point and it points towards you! The better the comprehension and implementation, the more it becomes a weapon of offense instead of a solution to suicide. In that regard, towards the offense we see that the spear could be the stepping stone that upgrades the customer experience and as such truly grow your business, which is exactly what it is, but it is not a cheap solution or an overnight solution, it is merely a new solution to grow towards places you never grew before, so you grow the options in getting a grown customer base, which is what many want.

The only question is how correctly the path has been drawn out and here we see the elements that Bob Easton sells on. Accenture seems to know this path through and through. We have seen how IBM scuttled their knowledge and for the most, the other players (read: self-proclaimed players) are not up to scrap, but their level of failure is not clearly shown, Bob Easton points at it, but there is clear doubt if that is a given, especially in the case of Deloitte.

Finally we see the mention of government contracts, which is of course fun to read. Especially as 20 years have shown me that the bulk of government is relatively clueless on any digital path, with Defence on a whole being close to the sole exception.

In all this I find one part slightly debatable, even as the chart makes perfect sense. The quote “Digitising the experience for your customers, digitising your internal operations and the creation of the capabilities to recognise and exploit new business models” is true, yet recognising new business models is always a non-given, because that requires the altered mindset of a board of directors, which tends to focus on the golf game and less on the balls they slice, which gives weight to the debate, not the issue with the model as shown. In that for Taxi’s the model makes perfect sense, because Uber is now forcing a different mindset on the taxi corporations. Yet consider the year before Uber started, how many Taxi companies were actively looking into new business models? That list is hugely close to zero!

I say that competitors and threats, the second more than the first is driving that element, which is why even in the digital move, a SWOT analyses tends to have more decisive impact on the decisions. When we know the elements strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, we can start to look at the options we have, and they do include the two Bob Easton axis scales namely Revenue and Margin. As stated, his view is not incorrect, I personally find it a little incomplete in this instance.

And to finalise this, the problem he states is on many levels, I am not even sure if America is the largest waster of options and resources here, yet when we see politicians go with (read: Donald Trump on CBS today) “you know cyber is becoming so big today. It’s becoming something that a number of years ago, short number of years ago, wasn’t even a word. And now the cyber is so big“, in this case Donald Trump for his elections. The fact that Cyber threats have been on the FBI agenda even before October 6th 1999, stating that the damage from those threats had surpassed 7 billion in Q1 and Q2 of 1999 gives us worry that Cyber and Digital are more than words and those who are aiming to be in a seat of power have not grasped it. The entire educational system is not ready for these changes, which is not their fault. The market that Bob Easton described has grown nearly exponentially and the next generation is not aware of what is what, that whilst the current generation is not up to scrap as to what the definitions are, how they should be seen and how they apply in a real time environment and the people in charge are not getting educated either, most they get is from trade shows dying for you to buy their solution, which is not much of an education and finally the previous generation that is hoping to make it to retirement before they have to learn it all.

That is the issue as it evolves. So we are all bits in the stream, bits of what? I am not sure if anyone can tell at present, but good luck trying to figure out where you are placed and where you stand, because resolving that will place you in a much stronger position than you were in this morning.

 

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Jack’s Place

Sometimes we wonder, what the long term effect would be if a baby is dropped on its head. At least, we should wonder about that! When we see that politicians are bending over backward to get their own way after elections, we have to wonder what we should do with politicians who have been dropped on their heads. In this case, when we see Tony Blair have a go in French (amazing quality French I tell you) on how ‘We have the right to change our minds on Brexit’ (at http://www.theguardian.com/politics/video/2016/sep/01/tony-blair-we-have-the-right-to-change-our-minds-on-brexit-eu-referendum-video). He is going on ‘on how people may change their minds’. How the people decided to move house whilst they had no idea on where they were going to. In my view, the house they are in now had rot, the house had termites and the landlord was an idiot skimming its tenants. How is whatever we move to not a better place? Labour is still at it, still trying to undo the change the people in Britain moved to as political parties were flaccid, the politicians of the EC in general were incapable and bending over for the desperate need of the USA and Wall street, the people at large have lost 60%-75% of their quality of living. All because nobody showed any backbone against the greed of Wall Street.

So as the former British politician of some renown is chatting up the French in French about the dangers of Frexit (in very good French I must admit), he seems to have forgotten historic events. It comes in the form of a little cumulative tale. As such I will go to the last verse of it all as not to iterate it all in this article. A song based on the principle of Chad Gadya, published in 1590, I move to a 17th century edition which came with the approval of Nurse Truelove.

This is the horse and the hound and the horn
That belonged to the farmer sowing his corn

This is about farmer who is sowing his fields, the farmer in the UK is being presented as the one now suffering ‘UK farmers wonder who’ll get the harvest in’ (at http://www.politico.eu/article/uk-farmers-wonder-wholl-get-the-harvest-in-agriculture-migration-brexit-labor/). The letter is not in question, there is no opposition that certain changes will have certain issues that need to be dealt with. “Richard Hirst, who farms 790 acres close to Norfolk’s blustery east coast. “They provide a fantastic service and potentially that’s all going to stop.”” the quote is fair enough, yet in that one player decided to remain quiet. I will get to that person later. What is also shown and raises questions is “Hirst relies on around 200 seasonal workers, most from Romania and Bulgaria, to plant and harvest the salad crop. Polish construction workers repair farm buildings. Polish truck drivers cart produce to market. That pattern is repeated across rural England“, how come that UK people aren’t coming to the sound of the horn of labour? Is it beneath them or is it not possible to get it done for normal UK wages? I am not stating that Richard Hirst is exploiting cheap labour, I am asking how come no one in the UK is willing to do it. We know that the farmers are hurting. When large corporations with governmental pressure options is milking the milk industry. Consider the average 2 litre milk bottle at £1.90. Whilst we see at http://dairy.ahdb.org.uk/market-information/milk-prices-contracts/farmgate-prices/uk,-gb-and-ni-farmgate-prices#.V8jC4vl96Uk that farmer gets 18.14 pence per litre, down from 20.77, which means that the dairy marketing engine gets 80%. There is something not right here! We know that there are costs, yet when the main ingredient is only 20% of the price, something is not right. I suggest that we increase milk minimum to £2.20 per 2 litre, meaning that a 1 litre bottle can only cost £1.10 and the increase is shipped 100% to the farmers. How long until the dairy industry tries to get their fingers on part of that increase? I am willing to bet that they make their first attempt before the ink dries on this agreement if it ever becomes a reality. Will it hurt some? A little, I cannot deny that some are in worst places than me, yet I am willing to pay that little extra to defend a milk legacy. Milk is essential, it is for some people essential to learn that the imbalance we see here is a massive imbalance that the EU brought. Here we see (at http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/milk/policy-instruments/index_en.htm), here we see that Regulation (EU) No 1308/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 December 2013 establishing a common organisation of the markets in agricultural products and repealing Council Regulations, is pretty much the initial death stroke to the farmers. Now, there is partially soundness and reasoning here. Consider that we see “establishing a common organisation of the markets in agricultural products) where the main market tools are set into 3 parts

  1. Market intervention
  2. Rules concerning marketing and production
  3. Trade with third countries

It is rules concerning marketing and production that is at hand. It was the introduction of quota’s that was some figment of someone’s imagination approach to fair trade. In actuality, it was truly an attempt to give an equal push for the small farmers and fishermen, but it ‘evolved’ into something quite differently. The larger supermarkets Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda, Morrisons, The Co-Op, Aldi, Waitrose and Lidl had no limits on quotas as they did not produce the dairy. You see, even as the fishermen were ‘obeying’ fish quotas, Japan, China and Russia went on a fishing spree (read: are still) so that people get their cheap fish, yet in milk there is another iteration. We see this in the Guardian of July 2012 (at https://www.theguardian.com/money/2012/jul/27/dairy-farmers-milk) the following “Tesco, Sainsbury, Waitrose and Marks & Spencer are all paying 30p a litre or more to dairy farmers, says the RABDF, which it says is the minimum survival threshold for farmers: ‘They are not so much the good guys, but they are at least paying 30p’“, which now gives us the issue that this year the price went down to 18.14 pence per litre. So if that is the average, how come the average price is currently 38% below the minimum survival threshold? How is that possible? If we accept that pricing is done on fairness and survivability, how come that this Economic Union is allowing for a supermarket situation where they squeeze the farmers out of a livelihood, all set to the allowance for a market, which they set is claiming to be for the fairness of all. Yet when we saw the Tesco debacle, not the PwC side, but the Tesco Executive side requires scrutiny too. Consider The Tesco Remuneration report (at https://www.tescoplc.com/media/1926/tescoar15_gov_remunerationreport.pdf). Consider that the CEO and CFO get CEO – £1,250,000, and the CFO gets £750,000. Also consider that the bonuses are CEO – maximum opportunity of 250% of base salary and for the local bookkeeper we see CFO – maximum opportunity of 225% of base salary. Consider that only 50% is set to sales and 30% is set to profit, how much money does Tesco need to make for these two people to have a really merry Christmas with family (or booze and hookers)? Now, even as the Guardian is stating that Tesco is not evil, yet they are matching the survival rate “all paying 30p a litre or more to dairy farmers“, so who is kidding who here?

That kept the rooster that crowed in the morn
That woke the priest all shaven and shorn
That married the man all tattered and torn
That kissed the maiden all forlorn

We get to the upcoming Bill of Rights. The Human Rights Act (HRA) will be dumped (read: scrapped enthusiastically). The Week published the following quote: “Scrapping the act will break the formal link between British courts and the European Court of Human Rights and stop the act being “misinterpreted”, say the Conservatives. They argue foreign nationals who have committed serious crimes are able to use the freedoms guaranteed under the Human Rights Act to justify remaining in the UK“, the right to self-govern is here in jeopardy. We seem to be all over Strasbourg to guarantee the rights of criminals, yet there is too little for their victims. Whilst the quote from the Tories is “aim is to “restore common sense and tackle the misuse of the rights contained in the Convention”“, this actually makes sense. There have been one too many stories on how a Rapist was given leave to stay in the UK, now he is imprisoned for life Rapist Dahir Ibrahim decided to retry his penetrating event. His defending lawyer stated “No long term physical injury was sustained by the victims“, so why not send his daughters to Pakistan? There is every chance that the culprits will be acquitted. Even more so, the Lawyers daughter could become famous as in one case the transgressor filmed 280 events. So his daughter could become a Bollywood star. Wouldn’t that be great?

There is the danger that events get uplifted because of emotional factors. That is not a good thing, which is why I voiced it in this way, we need to try to keep as much emotion out of legal issues, yet this does not mean to be soft on hardened criminals. It is the right of the UK to allow people in, yet in equal measure, if these visitors resort to serious crimes, should the victims not be allowed to voice for them to be evicted (through a court of law of course)? Even more so, why should any government allow for those deciding to go for ‘serious criminal solutions’ to be allowed within their nation? It is my view that Strasbourg has been too academic, too focused on finding a ‘compromise’ that this path seems to highly favour the path of the criminal and less so on the victim. It is my personal believe that the Bill of Rights might be a solution, especially if the 15 freedoms are kept.

So before we go into the last part. We looked at the economy (well, sort of), we see that Laws in general have failed the people of the nation, we see that large corporations are given too much leeway and too much options, whilst the press reflects this as ‘but they pay more than average’, which holds no water when the fee paid is 38% below the survivability threshold. By trying to please a few hundred at the expense of millions of non-receiving victims of society. Consider the next part. If I, for the most a dedicated Conservative see this, when I noticed the victims that the EC has been creating, how come Tony Blair and Jeremy Corbyn cannot see this? They should be squarely on the side of the Dairy farmer and the milkman, a side they both neglected (read: ignored). There is a constitutional failing in play and the fact that the hardships of some are mere plays for politics is just sad.

That milked the cow with the crumpled horn
That tossed the dog that worried the cat
That killed the rat that ate the malt
That lay in the house that Jack built.

Well, we just dealt with the milk. Yet, what has been ignored is the play of Rat and Cat and Dog. The cat chases the rat, but who is rat and who is cat? It can be argued that the EC and the USA are either, the issue with an exploitative symbioses is that it becomes increasingly hard to differ between the parasite and the body he feeds of, the better the parasite, the harder it becomes to find the parasite in the body. The dog becomes the UK, on one side it howls against the moon waking us all up (read: for naught). At times it chases the wrong party (read: mailman), yet the dog has its shiny moments. It howls, barks and bites the burglar in your house, it alerts to the dangers coming to the door and it can scare off dangers. Any dog has good and bad moments. The fact that some laws have still not been updated is a concern and the Bill of Rights wasn’t the first one that needed to come. However, for the benefit of the European segregation it does make sense. My biggest issue is that the EU decided on too little and far too late that makes Brexit a fact not to ignore, the fact that people like Tony Blair are now making speeches in France, winking to the UK that people can change their minds is a larger issue. Especially as the events leading towards Brexit has never been dealt with.

Yet we are not done, you see, Mario Draghi is still having a go at it, his latest quote states: “The figures won’t come as a shock to ECB President Mario Draghi, who warned in July that inflation rates were likely to remain “very low” over coming months, before picking up toward the end of the year” (source: Wall Street Journal), you see, there is a truth there, especially as he is relying on the Christmas shopping spree to save him. Yet, in this, is that number corrected (for end of year uplift)? If not than the European economy is in an even less inspiring state than most are willing to admit to. This in light of conflicting numbers coming from America when we see positivity one day, negativity the next. We know on a global scale economies are in a slump and because there was a dire need to keep the Status Quo and move it from virtual to fictional. We can no longer afford that game, which is why Brexit made sense.

We can use the quote by CNBC we saw on September 2nd (at http://www.cnbc.com/2016/09/02/jobs-report-proves-janet-yellen-is-wrong-about-the-economy-commentary.html) where we see “The reported August job gains were also considerably below the gains in June and July. The unemployment rate was forecast to fall to 4.8 percent, but held steady at 4.9 percent. Both numbers are disappointing and make a September rate hike less likely“. We could agree that it means that the US is in a slow upwards momentum, which would be really good for the US government. Yet it is only half the picture. The other side we see quoted in the Business insider (at http://www.businessinsider.com.au/albert-edwards-consumer-crutch-holding-up-us-economy-kicked-away-2016-9). Here Edward claims what I have stated in other ways several times before. The quote “Albert Edwards doesn’t think that the consumer can keep the US economy afloat for very long” was only the start, but it boils down to the fact that the US consumer is stopping its spending’s on many levels. The US has a massive issue at that point, because it has relied on consumer spending for far too long (instead of corporate taxation). Even if spending goes up the smallest amount in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving, the elections are on November 8th, 2016 which means that the successor might enjoy those results, but the Democratic Party will only be able to rely on half-baked speculations at that point. Even if they would dare to go that distance, there is enough ‘evidence’ to see that their predictions would end up being overly optimistic. What is the issue is that the US now desperately requires a solution, which those in power, who require the status quo to continue will not allow for. In that light we see the remarks by Tony Blair. Trying to sway the people that they can change their minds and more important on downgrading the new house at any cost. You see, when the UK sees that the move was harsh, but slowly people are starting to see their new living room, different, likely a little smaller, but soon it will feel comfortable and it will come with the feel of comfort the people in the UK have not known for decades. It will not come in the wake of laziness as many will need to work really hard, but that money will now benefit the UK, which is why we need to pull together as a Commonwealth, we need to pull together a lot more than most of our politicians are comfortable with. Soon thereafter it will no longer be Jack’s place, it will be your home. One that is interconnected in many ways, some good, some bad and someone is always chasing you, just as you are always chasing something or someone. A lesson in coexistence that does not require the parasite approach, something they still don’t get on Wall Street. You see as we see in the Australian Financial Review quotes like “Richard Fontaine, a leading US foreign policy expert” on how Australia is so vulnerable on Chinese demands, he seems to forget that his government did whatever they could to ram the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) down our throats. And now that the US is realising that with Brexit the game is truly ending, in addition we see that President Hollande feels the coffin nail that the TTIP carries as well as the vision on how it seems to only propel the need for big business, whilst Google’s option to drive commerce is not yet ready, it could be the true new innovation for small corporations, where the corporations keep the power on a global scale. Three elements that show that not only will the US face an economic slump (read: I find the statement ‘recession’ too speculative). Yet, the playing parties in the final moments on a lame duck president on the way to the morgue is not a moment to put political weight to final acts of despair whilst the new president is not set and that agenda could unwind everything, so the players have too much to lose as the dealer is about to change, possible with new decks of cards.

In that regard the economic players are currently realising that until January: ‘The safest way to double your money is to fold it over once and put it in your pocket‘.

Not good news for President Barack Obama, Tony Blair or Strasbourg for that matter. Perhaps Mario Draghi will get it at some point, but I am not holding my breath on that achievement to happen any day soon.

 

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Intimidating the Euro

There have been several issues in the past, some we seem to embrace as ‘dangerous’ towards the survival of the Euro, some less so. There has been a detectable increase (including from myself) into the events as they are occurring. Yet, any nation, has forever had moments of bad news, so why are we so eager to predict the downfall of a united coin?

You see, we all agree that there will be good times and times that are less so, yet in all this a level head should prevail. This means that there is balance. Nations tend to float their coin when things are poor and as decent times return, that floatation option dissipates. As nations were balanced, these waves still happen, but they were less extreme. Which meant that there were currency cycles, which is not a mystery!

So when the Euro came, a stronger more balanced currency became the global player, with a few ‘visionaries’ claiming that this is the haven of all currency. In that regard, let’s take a look at Rasul Shams (at http://ageconsearch.umn.edu/bitstream/26228/1/dp050321.pdf), a discussion paper from 2005. Here we see “One of the basic statement of a full developed theory of world money is that the world economy exhibits a specific structure, which is changing through time and that the world money adjusts to these specific characteristics of the world economy and underlies therefore itself large-scale changes in the long run. To understand the development of the world money and any long-range modification in its manifestation through time one has therefore first to study the dynamic stability of the world economy” (page 6). On Page 14 we get “Kenen (2002) and McKinnon (2002), both looking on the use of Euro in trading, bond issues, bank liabilities and official reserves, appreciate the strong role of Euro as an international currency but do not believe, it could be in a position to displace the central role of the Dollar. McKinnon refers to the reinforced Dollar standard by the ongoing price stability in the United States as the main reasons why the Dollar supremacy will continue“. In addition we see “Hartmann and Issing 2002; Huismann, Meesters and Oort 2000; Beckmann, Born and Kösters 2002), looking at the evolving international role of the Euro come to the conclusion that the Euro has indeed a great potential to expand further its international role but that this will be a long run process, not to be realised in the near future“. Now we get the first issue.

You see, certain players behind the screens must have made certain events happen to flow the Euro against the dollar as the 2004 crash became a reality. Now consider that the initial European Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM) was introduced somewhere before 1980 to reduce exchange rate variability and achieve monetary stability in Europe. In that system the currencies were still floated to the minimalistic degree, depending on the local economy. So when the Euro became the coin, that game changed. Suddenly nations lost their personal flotilla device. Now for the larger economies like France, Germany and the United Kingdom it was not that much of an issue. There was a degree of control. The UK had even more options as they remained to keep a sterling position. The other players were however in a less favourable position. They now had other issues to deal with. As those nations all got an interesting credit card, we saw a growing problem. Greece and Ireland being the larger problems, but in no way the most deadly of them. That part must be reserved to Italy and France. The EEC has a total ‘national’ debt of well over 12.5 trillion. With 50% of that debt belonging to Germany, France and Italy. Germany was until recently safe, because their economy was decent and their unemployment rate was below 5%, this is now changing through several parts. The Germans have many sides to their economy, yet when we read that the Deutsche Bank posted a €6.8 billion loss in 2015, thanks to a €12 billion write-down linked to litigation charges and restructuring costs, and it set aside more to cover any potential litigation (at Read more: http://www.afr.com/markets/deutsche-banks-troubles-unmask-bigger-risks-20160203-gmken9), we see new dark clouds. Apart from the DB shares going down to 10% of what they were before the financial crises, we must wonder what other effects are in place. Here is part of the problem. We can state on one side that one hiccup like that should not be a worry, but the economy in Germany is having a slow start. In addition as other nations are showing a slowing need for Deutsche Grundlichkeit, they are looking for alternative providers, cheaper providers, which is a given. Now add the VW scandal, which pushes down Covestro. All parts of multi Billion Euro sided Bayer. Now for a history lesson (at http://www.press.bayer.com/baynews/baynews.nsf/id/Bayer-MaterialScience-to-be-called-Covestro), which gives us “Bayer intends to float Covestro on the stock market by mid-2016 at the latest. The plan for Bayer Material Science to become a separate company was announced in September 2014” on one side, the timing is great for the board of directors who get to write off the losses from taxation and still get that 8 figure bonus. For the German government that is bad news on top of bad news. So as Germany was not a problem for the Euro, it is now a worry that is growing, growing by the day.

In all this I must now add that the national debt of Germany which represents one third of 50% now becomes an issue.

In addition, the hardship from France as it remains in a state of emergency. In addition, as too many people focus on the fact that the French Economy is moving ahead at 1.1%, which is a good achievement. Yet the unemployment rate is slowly creeping to 11%, in addition, the youth unemployment rate in France increased to 25.90, which means that the French hardship is still escalating. So as we see an economy growth of 1.1%, it is countered by ‘French unemployment rises by highest rate since 2013’ (at http://www.france24.com/en/20151126-french-unemployment-rises-highest-rate-2013), which will impact the French budget. In that regard so far (3 months later) no clear solutions have been presented by the current French government. In addition, the extremist and refugee issues are pressing more and more on the French morale, less and less acceptance is seen there. The French political landscape is still under attack, as the issues deepen, more and more people are starting to listen to Marine Le Pen, who is now seeking alliances with Italy’s Lega Nord, which also includes Geert Wilders from the Dutch PVV and Heinz-Christian Strache from the Austrian Freedom Party. These factors are important, for the simple reason that until 2 years ago Lega Nord was not even a blip on the radar of anyone who mattered in politics. That is no longer the case, more important, the stronger and the more united these right wing parties become, the bigger the collapse of the Euro. I would never have considered these parties to be anything bust extreme in chance. The inability of France’s François Hollande to get the economy to any degree on track is central here. The 1.1% melts away to -3% when we see the cost for France rise and rise. The plan for 500,000 vocational training schemes might sound nice, but that is not any guarantee to growth of economy, just an absolute guaranty to cost well over a billion, with more costs down the track. Italy is in a place not much better, even as both nations have products people want, the bulk of people are not buying the amount both governments need to see bought.

Now we see these elements as the UK has given the Brexit referendum to take place on June 23rd, which means that we are about to get flooded by propaganda from all sides, including newspapers on staying in, or moving out. The Guardian was quickly on board on how the environment would suffer (at http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/feb/03/brexit-would-return-britain-to-being-dirty-man-of-europe), whilst happily ignoring that a homeless person due to no job and no home has a worry with drowning in the rain and freezing solid in a park in winter. All these dangers because no one was willing to muzzle Greece, or bankers for that matter. So as we now see how Goldman Sachs is stating that Brexit could cost pound a 20% drop in value, should we remember those at Goldman Sachs that they are one of the responsible parties that got this entire economic mess started?

Now we get back to the continuation of the Euro issue as I saw it in the beginning. As we see how political parties are influencing events, the political element not seen is how political players have been spending others people money, without fear of persecution, prosecution or accountability. The mere inability of the European nations to keep a proper budget and to keep debts in check is a massive reason why right winged parties are now growing beyond anything. No one seems to be properly measuring data. As national data is inflated (read: weighted) we see optimistic news all over the place, whilst 90% of data and results should have been adjusted from the very beginning. So, we have one currency and all nations are floating the currency by inflating ‘predictions’ of their part of the economy, by the time that falls over, we see waves of managed bad news, yet the currency was from that point onwards never in a proper state, it has not been in that place for a long long time.

Now, France will face the next hurdle. There are too many predictions on how the UK will not go Brexit, but in all this the people are seeing their lifestyle dwindle away and as we see more managed bad news, the British people might have had enough. A strong example here comes from the BBC in December 2015 “Economic growth in 2015 was originally predicted to be 2-2.5%. But in large part because of the decision of the Government to take those bailout talks to the wire that has turned into a 2-2.5% contraction – a deep and painful recession. Now the experts are predicting once again that the economy will return to growth in 2016, unless something else gets in the way“, so as we read this, we see that ‘the experts’ were off by 5%, which is massive, which follows ‘predicted growth’ in 2016. Yet we all know that Greece has had too many problems and when the retirements funds stop because they invested in Greece, where will retirees get their ‘support’ from? They are entitled to that support, but Greece has no more money, debts it cannot pay and it let those who got Greece in that bad a state off the hook. All EEC nations left those Greeks off the hook. So now, as we see that money is running out, which will in the near future could mean that the IMF has to bail out Greece again. If that happens before June 23rd, how do you expect the British referendum voters to react?

One thing is certain, if Brexit happens, François Hollande will get the nightmare situation he dreads, because the Euro without the United Kingdom will not survive through Germany, Italy and France together. In that light it will push Frexit straight to the top, with at some point in 2017 President Marine Le Pen, signing a government act to secede from the Euro and not entirely unlikely secede from the EEC altogether. That last statement is massively speculative, but not impossible. It is nationalism that are driving the French to her and the Italians to Matteo Salvini, there is still the dangers that Nigel Farage will get on the ‘I told you so horse‘, which had a 1:1,000,000 chance to win. Now my £10 will turn into a nice retirement funds for a nice place on Guernsey (if someone honours that deal). A wave started by the mere political short-sightedness of not having a legal door to expel bad nations and their economic acts. An oversight that will result in additional trillions of write-offs and hardship for the European population at large.

A view I stated in 2013, there is now a decent chance that I will be proven right 3 years later, a mere data analyst without an economic degree.

Yet, can I be wrong? Of course I could be, but you should ask yourself: ‘Where is MY benefit?’ I am not asking you to state this in some rage of selfishness. I am asking you to look at your life, your family and all the parts you lost in the last 10 years. All the things you worked for and what you have been left with. Now, many people have not lost what they had, but their financial progress seems to have minimised, largely due to outside influences, some of them due to really bad internal governing. So how does a Brit feels when the hardship he faces comes from the bad acts not just from the UK, but in addition to the acts from Spain, Greece, Portugal and other nations? In addition, we see that those governments do not seem to be held accountable, neither are the decision makers held accountable by other governments. Now, the average Brit accepts that his government makes mistakes, just like the average Frenchman, or Italians for that matter. But neither wants to pay for the cock-ups of another government, especially as no one is held accountable, so that part leaves us with Brexit and the chance of it becoming a reality. Yet when we see the quote in the Independent “David Cameron has urged mainstream Conservative MPs not to be bullied by party activists into campaigning to leave the European Union as he took on his Tory critics with a fierce defence of his reform blueprint“, we have to consider that the risk is a lot larger than David Cameron is comfortable with, which works for Nigel Farage. The accusations that others are now accusing the UKIP MEPs, who allegedly have been intimidating other members of the European Parliament.

So, now, after a year, the UKIP members that were never seen as anything serious are now ‘intimidating’ others? So now we see the picture caption ‘Green MEP Molly Scott Cato admonished Farage and Ukip MEPs‘, yet in the Guardian (at http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/feb/03/brexit-would-return-britain-to-being-dirty-man-of-europe) we see “It will work with green groups to persuade people that leaving the EU could set back the UK’s nature protection and prevention of pollution many years“, so the battlelines of Brexit are being drawn and the question becomes, where is the truth and why are certain bad elements not being held accountable, that is the real reason why Brexit and Frexit are a reality. As no one addresses that because of the ‘friends’ these proclaimers of ‘other’ reasons have, they are driving constituents straight into the arms of Nigel Farage, Marine Le Pen and Matteo Salvini. Nigel enabled Marine (to a small extent), the fear of Brexit pushes Marine to a large extent and all those elements are now making Matteo Salvini a threat to the Italian way of life. The question whether that is for good or bad is too early to tell, but the impact will be massive in all three nations. So whatever comes next will be speculative to a larger extent which is, until June 25th, as that date could be the start of a massive upheaval all over Europe, which could hit as far as Japan and the United States of America.

 

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In reference to the router

Is this a case of Mythopoeia? Am I the JRR Tolkien of bloggers (I wish) and writer of facts by a non-journalist? It might be. You see, this is all about a mythological theme that is constant as war is, because war never changes! Its concept and construct is as old as the first ‘soldier’ who combined a flint and a stick and started to spear people. In this mindset it is all about the other person, an archaic approach to the issue that does not lie beneath, it’s in front of the person not seeing what is right in front of him/her.

It is also the first evidence that we consider the concept ‘old soldier never die, they simply fade away’ to be no longer a genuine consideration. In this day and age, the old soldier gets his/her references deleted from the database of considerations. We remain with nothing more than an old person that cannot connect or interact, the router won’t let him/her!

This is how it begins, this is about certain events that just occurred, but I will specify this momentarily, you see, it goes back to an issue that Sony remembers rather well they got hacked. It was a long and hard task to get into that place Login=BigBossKazuoHirai; Password=WhereDreamsComeTrue;

Soon thereafter no more firewall, no more routers, just the bliss of cloud servers and data, so much data! The people behind it were clever, and soon it was gone and the blame fell to the one nation that does not even have the bandwidth to get 10% past anything. Yes, North Korea got blamed and got fingered and in all that the FBI and other spokespeople gave the notion that it was North Korea. The people who understand the world of data know better, it was the only player less then least likely to get it done, the knowhow and the infrastructure just isn’t there. I did have a theory on how it was done and I published that on February 8th 2015 (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2015/02/08/the-next-cyber-wave/) in the article called ‘The next cyber wave’. It is only a theory, but it is a lot more reliable and likely than a North Korean incursion because of a movie no one cares about.

The FBI has plenty of achievements (FIFA being the latest one), but within the FBI there is a weakness, not a failing, but a weakness. Because the US has such a niche setup for NSA, CIA and other Intel officers, their offices are for the most still archaic when it come to the digital era. They go to all the events, spend millions on courses and keep up to date, but for the most, these people are following a wave that is one generation old, they follow, they do not lead. The entire Edward Snowden issue is clear evidence. I remain to regard him a joke, not a hacker, so far he is just placed on a pedestal by the press, who have created something unreal and whatever they do not to change it, it will only cut themselves. That is the fall-back of creating an artificial hero who isn’t one.

Yet, this is not about Snowden, he is only an element. Now we get to the concept of paleo-philosophy and how it hits government structures behind IT. This all started yesterday (at http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/jun/04/us-government-massive-data-breach-employee-records-security-clearances), where we see ‘OPM hack: China blamed for massive breach of US government data’. Now first of all, if one power can do this, than it is China! France, UK and a few others can do it too, but let’s just assume it is not an ally! Here is where the entire paleo-philosophy comes into play. You see, even though war remained constant, the players changed and for the most, it is no longer about governments. This is all about corporations. Even the movies are catching on, there is no true side to Russia or China as the enemy. Yes, their students might do it to impress their superiors/professors, but that would just be there defining moment. Ethan Hunt is not hunting a nation, it is now hunting conglomerates, large players who remain and require to be zero percent taxable. Those are the actual ream enemies for the UK, the US and China. You see, I am not stating it was not China, I am only questioning the reasoning and other acts. You see, I tried to get an answer from State Secretary John Kerry at +1-202-647-9572, who does not seem to be answering the phone, neither is his right hand man, Jonathan J. Finer at +1-7234 202-647-8633. This is not a secret, the State Department has the PDF with office numbers, locations and phone numbers in an open PDF and you can Google the little sucker! In the age where loads of stuff is open the right person can combine tonnes of data in a moment’s notice.

So can the larger players! The quote in the beginning is the kicker “the impact of a massive data breach involving the agency that handles security clearances and US government employee records“, you see loads of this information is already with intelligence parts and counter parts. I reckon Beijing and Moscow had updated the records within the hour that the next record keeper moved into the office. Yet, now in 2015, as the engine starts up for the presidential elections of 2016, that data is important to plenty of non-governments, that part is not seen anywhere is it?

Then we get “A US law enforcement source told the Reuters news agency on Thursday night that a ‘foreign entity or government’ was believed to be behind the attack“, which is fair enough, so how was the jump made to China? You see, only 5 weeks ago, the Financial Review gave us “US Treasury pressures Tony Abbott to drop ‘Google tax’” (at http://www.afr.com/news/policy/tax/us-treasury-pressures-tony-abbott-to-drop-google-tax-20150428-1mu2sg). So as the Obama administration ‘vowed’ to crackdown on Tax avoidance, they are really not the player who wants to do anything to upset those luscious donators of pieces of currency paper (loads of currency paper), so a mere 6 months later the US, is trying to undo what they promised, whilst still trying to push the TPP papers through the throats of consumers everywhere, what an interesting web we weave!

You see, for the large corporation that list of who has access to papers, and his/her situation is worth gold today, for the Chinese a lot less so. Yet, I am not writing China off as a possible culprit! Let’s face it, they are not North Korea, which means that they do not need to power their router with a Philips 7424 Generator! So at this point, I would tend to agree with Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei who branded the accusations “irresponsible and unscientific” at a news briefing on Friday.

Now we get to the quote that is central to the entire paleo-philosophy matters: “DHS is continuing to monitor federal networks for any suspicious activity and is working aggressively with the affected agencies to conduct investigative analysis to assess the extent of this alleged intrusion”, first of all, I am not having a go at the DHS. I have done so in the past with good reason, but this is not that case. I think that in many areas government in not just falling behind, it started to fall behind in 2005 and has been falling behind ever since. Not just them though, organised large corporations like Sony, CVS Health, Valero Energy and Express Scripts Holding are only a few of the corporations that do not even realise the predicament they are in. The Deep Web is not just a place or a community, some of the players there have been organising and have been sharing and evolving that what they know. A massive pool of information, because Data is money, governments know it, corporation know it and THE HACKERS know it too. For them it is all relative easy, they have been living and walking the cloud data with the greatest of ease they can conflict data points and flood certain shared data hosts, only to achieve to get behind the corridor and remain invisible whilst the data is available at their leisure. In that environment the intelligence community is still trying to catch up with the basics (compared to where the hackers are). You see, whilst people in corporations and government are all about politics, those hackers were bout mayhem and anarchy, now they are figuring out that these skills get them a wealthy and luxurious lifestyle and they like the idea of not having a degree whilst owning most of Malibu Drive, a 21st century Point Break, where the funds allow them to party all the time. Corporations got them into that thinking mode. So were the culprits ‘merely’ hackers or was it a foreign government? That is the question I am unable to answer with facts, but to point at China being likely is event less assuring. Consider who gains power with that data? This much data can be up for sale, it can be utilised. In the premise of both, China is not unlikely, but what is ‘more likely than not’ is also a matter, even though that question is less easily answered and without evidence (I have none) any answer should not be regarded as reliable!

Now we get to the quote “Embassy spokesman Zhu Haiquan said China had made great efforts to combat cyberattacks and that tracking such events conducted across borders was difficult” it is correct, it matters and it is to the point. In addition, we must accept that trackers can also be set on the wrong path, it is not easy, but it can be done, both the hackers and China have skills there, as do the NSA and GCHQ. Yet, in all that, with the Sony hack still fresh in memory, who did it, which is the interesting question, but WHY is more interesting. We tend to focus on clearances here, but what else was there? What if the OPM has health details? What is the value of health risk analyses of 4 million people? At $10 a month that is a quick and easy half a billion isn’t it?

You see, the final part is seen here: “DHS is continuing to monitor federal networks for any suspicious activity and is working aggressively with the affected agencies to conduct investigative analysis to assess the extent of this alleged intrusion”, This is to be expected, but the intruders know this too, so how did they get past it all again? That is the issue, I gave in my earlier blog one possible solution, but that could only be done through the inside person, to be clear of that, someone did a similar thing in the cloud, or in the stream of data, in a way that it does not show. Perhaps a mere pressure of data in a shared cloud point is all it took to get past the security. How many data packages are lost? what intel is gained from there, perhaps it is just a pure replication of packages job, there is no proper way to monitor data in transit, not in cloudy conditions, so as we see that more data is ‘breached’ we all must wonder what the data holders, both government and non-government are not ready for. It is the data of you and me that gets ‘sold’ who does it get sold to?

So as we see an article of a data hack and a photo of routers and wiring, which looks geeky and techy, was this in reference to the router? Or perhaps it is in reference to a reality many in charge are not ready to face any day soon, and in light of the upcoming US elections of 2016, some of these politicians definitely do not want to face it before 2017. Like the Google Tax, let the next person fix it!

A preferred political approach that will allow them to lose exclusivity of your data real fast!

 

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