Tag Archives: Barcelona

Nationalisation, the second tier

The news is fresh, it is new news, yet it was foreseen, it wasn’t really news, but the drive has come visible, much more visible than most expected. As some might focus on the Guardian and the image of a beautiful young lady as she is afraid for her life, as she seeks refugee status in Australia, we see all the men and many women feeling sorry for Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun. It might be correct, it might not. I do not know, yet what the Guardian is not telling you is seen in the Arab News (at http://www.arabnews.com/node/1431206/saudi-arabia), there the news is: ‘Saudi Arabia goes full steam with Saudisation of sales jobs‘. I think it is good that any nation pushes for national held jobs, no matter what country it is happening in. So as we read: “Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Labor and Social Development announced on Sunday that it would be providing citizens with job opportunities in an attempt to reduce unemployment. The job opportunities will be in sales roles, including medical equipment stores, construction and building materials shops, car spare parts shops, carpet shops and sweets shops, according to Saudi state news agency, SPA.” I think it is good that the news is seen, yet what about the impact? It is not a national thing, it is regional, Oman is doing the same, Qatar has been doing it for a while and the UAE is on a similar trend. If it works it is great, yet what everyone forgets is the announcements of 6 months ago, this basically impacts Google, Apple and a few other players (the FAANG group as a whole) as they were opening their offices in Saudi Arabia as well, so from the Saudi view it is great to be Saudi. Many people all over the world dream of a Google job and now we see that Saudi’s are added to that knowledge pool. And that is what it is a knowledge pool that can drive Arabian IP to a much larger extent. In light of Neom City, in light of new Financial Districts in Riyadh, we see the opportunity for growth, yet do these events constitute actual growth as that question is equally important.

If we accept the same news two days ago (at http://www.arabnews.com/node/1430961/business-economy), we see that the headlines might give us ‘CEO of Saudi Arabia’s newest technology investment fund STV shoots for the moon‘, we might giggle, yet perhaps that same feeling came upon us when in 2001 a man named Mark Zuckerberg had an idea, how did that end? We can also consider that as Abdulrahman Tarabzouni is a MIT graduate, so he optionally has a better education than Mark Zuckerberg had (Harvard), which is me, myself and I starting a competitive flame between those two schools. The nice part here is that the STV (the investment fund) has half a billion to start with, so they can cream the best start-ups to truly grow their perspective and turn it into billions of wealth, if properly set their idea of a hundred times over might be conservative. We tend to not look into those directions, yet the ownership of IP is not merely an essential it is a wealth maker and a wealth breaker and as an MIT graduate he would (read: should) be able to see the difference between the wheat and chaff, it makes for all the difference.

Even as the Arab News introduces in opposition: “Some analysts point to two difficulties in the STV strategy: The high valuations of the global technology sector, and the comparatively high levels of geopolitical risk associated with the region, and the Kingdom, in the minds of some foreign investors.” We need to recognise that being first implies the avoidance of ‘high valuations of the global technology sector‘, the second part is ‘geopolitical risk associated with the region‘; that second part might not be zero, yet there is no clear danger to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, in addition as the footing of Iran diminishes the growth of Saudi Arabia will flourish, as well as the fact that the involvement and connections of Abdulrahman Tarabzouni with Saudi Aramco, Careem, Morgan Stanley, Oracle, Microsoft, Syphir tech company, Google, Member of investment committee, Middle East Venture Partners, as well as advisory roles at public and technology institutions in KSA, it would be my personal believe that if this person cannot navigate the rivers of political risk, no one would ever be safe to invest in Saudi Arabia and as we see billions from the FAANG group go that way soon enough, we can pretty much consider the second risk a dud in all that (for now).

The progress that Saudi Arabia is showing in 5G, now equalling the largest players on the western hemisphere shows not only the commitment for the Middle East, it shows that Saudi Arabia is taking the non-petroleum options extremely serious. It goes even further when we consider the news a mere 4 hours ago: “T-Mobile CEO to regulators: China is beating US on fast 5G wireless but our Sprint deal can change that“, how exactly will that happen? Merging Sprint and T-Mobile sounds nice, but they still lack higher technology equipment, Huawei beat them and the longer these players remain in denial, the larger the damage and that is where the STV can cash in. Any Huawei linked technology start-up has close to a 20% advantage over anything else. Let’s not forget that players like Verizon are not really using 5G, or as they say 5G Evolution, which I discussed in ‘Tic Toc Ruination‘, where we see: “We are given “Verizon’s network is not yet 3GPP compliant. It uses Verizon’s own 5G specification, but will be upgraded to be 3GPP compliant in the future“, so does that mean that it is merely a Verizon issue opening the market for Sprint, or are they both involved in that same pool of marketed pool to some form of ‘5G’ branding, and not the standard?” (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2018/12/06/tic-toc-ruination/), something clearly seen from various sources a month ago, so how was their technology backdrop solved? It was not! I made additional observations in ‘That did not take long‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2018/12/22/that-did-not-take-long-2/) where we see: “we are (again) confronted with what Neville Ray CTO of T-Mobile calls: ‘duping customers into thinking they’re getting something they’re not‘, America will not end dead last here, but they will be trailing (as currently is implied) behind more than one Middle East Arabic nation“, an observation I made on December 22nd last year, so not only am I proven right a few times over, the fact that for what I observe to be high paid people hiding behind presentations and wording whilst not having the actual goods is merely the facade of defeat presenting itself as ‘innovative opportunity‘, so we are watching these people heralding their Edsel whilst it is about to go up against the Maserati Gran Turismo and optionally the Mercedes-Maybach S 650 Sedan as well, and in what Universe does the Edsel have any kind of a chance? Parking perhaps (it is not that big) but how can you see innovative technology as innovation when parking is your only way to shine?

the sad part is that I have been talking to stone walls for 2 years now, the upside is that when they fail I have the documentation showing just how stupid they have been, and the end is nowhere in sight. I prepared issues on optional 5G tourism, cyber protection and a few other places that will really open up the valves of disgust from consumers when they are confronted with the impact on their daily lives. Even outside of governmental infrastructures Huawei is set in a stage where they have billions in optional business in both information and SME environment. The large presentation based players (like 5G Evolution) were so intent on pushing the large infrastructure that they forgot that actual business comes from other area’s and when the first sale is done, they are merely left with the stage where they wait for consumers to catch up, that part is no longer a given. We see part of that (at https://asia.nikkei.com/Business/Business-Trends/CES-2019-to-offer-glimpse-of-future-for-5G-AI-and-Huawei), where we are treated to: “About 4,500 companies are set to take part in this year’s CES, which continues to expand beyond consumer electronics as tech pervades once-mechanical industries like automotives. China now stands out in developing and applying both 5G and AI technologies. A decade ago, Japanese home electronics makers had a substantial presence in the Central Hall, an area packed with big-name companies. But as they have lost prominence, Chinese companies have emerged to fill the gap. Huawei Technologies, Alibaba Group Holding and Haier Group will all have exhibits in the Central Hall.” This matters as it is direct visibility; this is the direct stage in Las Vegas and its CES2019, people will get to see 4500 companies and some there proclaiming to equal Huawei, yet less than 5 will optionally have something to show the people on that level and I am speculating that they merely equal Huawei at best and this is one month before the Mobile World Congress 2019 in Barcelona where Huawei is set to take the centre stage and most of the attention. We cannot speculate what we will see exactly, but we will know on Sunday 24th February, and we will then optionally see the Samsung 5G router (not Mobile) and optionally several 5G mobiles, yet at that point we can use the dictionary torpedoes to sink that hype seeking content, contant that we have been exposed to from several sources. That part is not only visible, the results as shown by one source, gives us that AT&T is just not up to scrap at present.

Even as I have no real confirmation on how accurate the results are (so be aware of that), we are shown what PC Mag gave the people earlier and with the cautionary footnote (as would be appropriate): “remember that these are just test speeds ant that they will most likely improve with time. More importantly, there are still no 5G smartphones available yet, so these tests in the AT&T 5G network are just part of a process“, the fact that we see the results as in the image are bad, really really bad for a 5G environment!

From my point of view, test or not, their 5G should have knocked it out of the park leaving us with the entire 5G Evolution bit as what I personally would see as a sham, not a champ.

Nationalisation is only as good as the goods you have and in this the partnership with Huawei was essential and at present more and more technologists are stating the same thing. So those with a Huawei partnership will leave the others behind them on a larger scale in several layers and structural foundational flaws, the impact when the others cannot deliver will be fun to see, especially to mock on a daily foundation. I reckon that we have that right when we are treated to bloated presentations where we are left in the dust with the message: ‘It is great to be a consumer, in this age‘. Do not worry, we have his number and will point out that flaw soon enough several times.

We are finally seeing the impact of iterative technology versus frog leaping ahead. The iterative players will soon diminish, so from the Saudi point of view, they did bet on the right horse and that impact will give them multiple victories soon enough. You see, do you still think that the larger players will stay in a place with inferior abilities? When exactly was that ever an option for those who wanted to stay in the major leagues of technology?

 

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Plan(e)s of deception

We have been on the 5G track for a while and now, as players have been very adamant of taking the wind out of the sails of Huawei, we need to realise what they have, or merely what they have left. So to play nice with the Americans (and a few other governments), we have been drowning in all these new 5G devices, and close to exactly 2018 years after a girl named Mary forked out a little bub named Jesus of Nazareth, we were treated to all kinds of news like ‘New evidence confirms Samsung’s 5G smartphone for Verizon, codename Bolt‘, it seems that the writer Cosmin Vasile was on the ball, and I stipulate only seemed to be. For a former PR person claiming to be a tech journalist we gave him an initial pass. And when he gives us “However, Verizon announced early this month that it has teamed with Samsung to release a 5G smartphone in the United States in the first half of 2019. Now, we have more info that confirms the carrier’s statement” we get the image that there is something happening. It is only now that content creator Joshua Swingle gives us ‘Verizon’s 5G Samsung “Bolt” is actually a mobile hotspot, not a phone‘, so there we see the two parts that matter the most. The first “In actuality, Samsung’s upcoming device is a battery-powered mobile 5G hotspot. At the moment, details are pretty scarce, but a pair of Wi-Fi certifications (via VentureBeat) suggest there are two variants under development right now with the model numbers SM-V570N and SM-V570V“, and the second is “The Verizon model, on the other hand, makes use of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X50 modem. This means it’ll be compatible with the radio frequencies used by the carrier for 5G in the US. While “Bolt” may not be the 5G smartphone everyone was expecting, Verizon customers won’t be missing out on anything. The number one carrier is still expected to offer a compatible version of Samsung’s 5G Galaxy S10 model when it launches“, the problem is that both sources are relying on Verizon to honestly inform them and that is where the problem starts, Verizon is in over their heads plain and simple. It is up against AT&T who rebranded some version of 4G as ‘5G Evolution’ and they are up against Huawei who is a lot more advanced at present, whether or not in America, others can judge Verizon for lagging behind foreign providers soon enough and that amounts to a multi-billion dollar fiasco. In addition, USA Today is giving the people “top executives from wireless powerhouses Verizon and AT&T will give keynote speeches where they are expected to outline why 5G will change the world. Both have launched limited 5G service in select cities, as consumers await the release of mass-market phones that can access the faster 5G signals. The talk will continue to heat up in February in Barcelona for the Mobile World Congress show, where more manufacturers are expected to show off new 5G phones“, we can argue how valid ‘limited 5G’ is, and whether it is actually a valid version of 5G, but that is a debate for later time.

The issue of Verizon becomes more apparent when we consider GSM Arena, which in the past was a really reliable site (and it might still be), however (at https://www.gsmarena.com/there_could_be_as_many_as_five_galaxy_s10_models_lite_vanilla_plus_and_two_5g_ones-news-34909.php), we clearly see the S10 Bolt as a 5G mobile phone. I am willing to accept that GSM Arena is working on good faith with supplied information, in all this we need to wonder whether it is Verizon handing different sources different information, especially in light of: “the Beyond Bolt (Galaxy S10 Bolt) will be a Verizon-exclusive (and will feature a larger battery, though exact numbers are unknown at this point)“, which seen against Venturebeat (at https://venturebeat.com/2019/01/04/samsung-bolt-gets-wi-fi-certification-as-a-5g-hotspot-not-a-galaxy-phone/) where the people get: ‘Samsung Bolt gets Wi-Fi certification as a 5G hotspot, not a Galaxy phone‘, even as we cannot state for certainty how this all started, it seems that there is a clear path of deceptive conduct on a few levels. The entire deception part becomes more polarised when we look at Tom’s Guide who gives us “The fifth device will be known as the Galaxy S10 Bolt, Dutch blog TechTastic is reporting, citing sources. It’s unclear exactly how it’ll get its name, but some important features might tell the story. For one, it’ll work over 5G, allowing you to access the ultra-fast network in areas where it’s available this year. Additionally, Samsung will bundle a larger battery in the Bolt, according to the report. Lastly, it’ll be exclusive to Verizon.” The story (at https://www.tomsguide.com/us/samsung-galaxy-s10-bolt,news-28967.html) gives us a Dutch blogger as the source and they all repeat one another, so as Venturebeat is opening the eyes of many, we see that this game of deception is played on a much larger stage, optionally implying that Samsung and Verizon are working together to create visibility by trying to take it away from Huawei (which in the end is a valid marketing ploy).

It is Forbes that give us clarity by not giving us any. It makes sense and when we see: “both Verizon and AT&T have announced a partnership with Samsung to deliver a ‘5G Galaxy smartphone’ in the first half of 2019. And yes, we know exactly what this is. “5G is going to be about more than just a network. Customers will eventually be able to connect in near real-time to unforeseen possibilities,” said David Christopher, president of AT&T Mobility and Entertainment. “Together with Samsung, we plan to bring the best in technology and innovation to our customers. The future we imagine with 5G is just beginning, and it is a great time to be a consumer.”” Forbes gave us the goods, as others are talking about the 5G Bolt part, Forbes gives us David Christopher who is seemingly informing us on how great it is to be a consumer, he leaves out the part where the consumers are getting misinformed. For the most we want to blame bloggers and technology reporters validly hiding behind words like ‘likely’ and ‘we expect to see’. Yet until the official unveiling in Spain at the end of February we will not actually know what is real and what is not.

So how come that they all got it wrong?

Well, they all merely seem to mimic and user each other as sources, propelling the fable forward (as I personally see it), Venturebeat did their homework and gives us (at https://www.wi-fi.org/product-finder-results?sort_by=certified&sort_order=desc&keywords=SM-V570V,SM-V570&companies=362) the certification sources. There we see (see image) and more important, we see that both are: ‘Category: Mobile Access Point (battery powered)‘, there we see the adults and the children separated, from what I can tell Venturebeat did its homework, the rest got used as the tools they seemingly are.

Is that fair?

That remains to be seen, unless we see at the end of February that Samsung is revealing an actual S10 bolt as a 5G mobile phone, these writers were tools to be used for the entertainment of Verizon, to create a marketing hype on a false product, if there is an actual S10 bolt being released, it also implies Samsung to be part of all this. You see, you do not give two different devices the same name that is a marketing no-no on a very high level. So far we have seen the actions by AT&T and now Verizon as well to be hiding behind the ‘be first’ tactic and not actually being there. It is as I wrote yesterday (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2019/01/04/dianhua-x2-xinche-xing/), “these players are putting it all one the table, betting everything they have to make a 5G turnaround whilst there is more than one indicating chance that this will falter. That is the gambling stage and all this is done without realising that Huawei does not need to bet, they merely have to deliver what they are promising making the others fold, losing it all over hardware that they cannot provide, or even better are already failing to manufacture“, and by the way, my premise was supported by quotes in the Wall Street Journal, and a few other highly respectable publications on the global scale, I knew what I was looking into. I partially hoped to have been wrong, yet less than 24 hours later we see additional sources merely proving my point. In addition, PC Magazine gives us only 9 hours ago (at https://www.pcmag.com/news/365649/surecalls-5g-booster-cant-extend-at-t-verizon): “AT&T is flat-out calling gigabit 4G “5GE.” Real 5G—5G NR—is coming on a range of frequency bands up and down the spectrum, with the first round of 5G phones and hotspots only supporting some of them“, as well as “Those bands, called millimeter wave, are what Verizon and AT&T are launching first, and they provide tremendous speeds but at very limited range. Unfortunately, the FCC hasn’t even set the rules for millimeter-wave boosters yet, according to SureCall CEO Hongtao Zhan, so those will probably come next year. “I don’t believe we’re the bottleneck of this. There’s no rule, there’s no standard, there’s nothing,” he says. Millimeter-wave boosters can’t be built yet, but Zhan says that’s where we’re really going to need boosters. Millimeter-wave frequencies have trouble penetrating walls. “There will be zero signal inside your buildings; it’s going to be horrible. Something has to be done to solve that problem”“, so not only is 5G a mess, there will seemingly be no reception in the building, so why buy into 5G for now? And is it not interesting that the consumer is mostly unaware to all this? In support we also get: “In my experience, he’s 80 percent right. Verizon has shown me millimeter-wave signal penetrating at least somewhat into buildings, but it drops off pretty quickly. There will definitely need to be some sort of in-building booster for millimeter wave, if the carriers want that frequency’s advantages to work inside.” All that information is missing form so many sources. At least, for me personally there is an upside, with all these additional needs, the need (and value) for my IP is growing close to exponentially, so I feel decent for now. Yet, the people who seem to adhere to David Christopher, president of AT&T Mobility and Entertainment and his view of “a great time to be a consumer” with all the non-given information, at what point will we use these publications to start up class actions against certain players to get 100% refund on hardware we get to keep? What level of punitive damages with the US courts and other courts define as ‘non damage’ and therefor non claimable just to keep AT&T and Verizon afloat?

America is all about suing people, not about holding them accountable and that is something we might see change in 2019, the entire 5G mess is becoming a plane of deception giving rise to certain people and their plans of deception to keep the interest focussed away from other players in this field. And that is not even the start of the failing we see in the US, according to the Gulf Times (at https://www.gulf-times.com/story/617959/Vodafone-one-of-the-first-to-go-live-with-5G-comme) where we see: “From today, GBI will be the first entity to be commercially connected to Vodafone’s 5G network. Moreover, Vodafone Qatar will be the first to commercially connect several consumer customers to its 5G network across Doha starting today. “We are proud to have been the first company to experience the power of Vodafone’s 5G network and now look forward to benefit from it commercially to enhance our operations. We congratulate Vodafone on officially receiving its 5G licence and extend our full support in the journey to accelerate the country towards becoming one of the most technologically advanced in the world,” said Abdulla al-Ruwali, GBI executive director and managing director“, and it is not AT&T, or Verizon. It is Vodafone of all places that has switched it on, completely licensed. Now, this is merely one source, although I got it via Reuters, there are optionally still issues in place and the debate is not over, but there you have it, the US claiming all kinds of stuff and the 5G trophy goes to the Middle East, how is that for a reality check?

The 5G market is a Wild West stage and now we see (or are implied to be notified of the fact) that the camel jockeys and not the cowboys (or Indians for that matter) that seemingly take the victory cake home for now.

 

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Behind the political screen

We have seen events in the last few years that make me wonder if there is sanity in choice. Don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against Catalonia, against their desire to become independent. It might make local sense, yet where is the wisdom? You see, the same was in play for Scotland, and now we are starting to see more ‘fire’ from Lombardy. A lot of these moves do not make sense. We might argue that an independent Scotland makes the most sense, yet in all this the direct issue is that they cannot afford it. If the oil was different, perhaps, yet even then there are larger questions not considered. The first being ‘How will we keep a budget?‘, this is the first issue and it sank any chance for Scotland. Even with the oil sales, they were already well over 10% short and as oil revenue dwindles down, the Scottish options melted like snowflakes in a Pizza oven. So until the Scottish political delegations attracts a larger more settled form of investors and long term players there is no independent Scotland, there never will be one as it currently sits and I agree that this is a sad thing for the Scots. Now as we consider Scotland and consider that both Catalonia and Lombardy will be in a place that is a lot worse than Scotland would be, the question now becomes, who is pushing behind the screen. You see these levels of ‘local pride’ is getting pushed, and it is always pushed by people with a greed driven agenda and that is a much larger problem than anyone is willing to admit to.

You see, as I personally see it, a few players didn’t get their way through Spain and the UK and are now vying for another path that opens up opportunity and credit cards. Yet behind all this, once they have what they got, they move away, out of sight, out of mind and leave where ever they have been a massive financial mess that is suddenly not theirs to solve, which they then ‘sell’ on to other players. And after that, who pays the bills? Will the ECB come with funds? Will they make the nations sign new debt agreements and exchange bills for large corporations? Perhaps we will suddenly see a wave of news with all the great things the EBRD (European Bank for Reconstruction and Development) and the European Investment Bank (EIB) can do for all the players involved. It opens up the doors they need and makes the government vassals towards the goals they have in play. One large Europe where no one gets to have a say, except for the large financier and multinational that swim in the pool that supports and supplies their needs. The fear after Brexit is growing almost exponentially within their halls of power. With ‘Since our establishment in 1991 we’ve invested over €115 billion in more than 4,500 projects‘ we all seem to think the best of the EBRD (which might not be wrong), so where do they get their profit from? Because a bank, EVERY BANK, requires return on investment to continue! With “The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is owned by 67 shareholders, 65 countries and two international organisations” that question becomes more and more important. You see, the fact that there are nations providing funds is fine. Yet when we see Canada subscribing with $1 billion a year, are they throwing money out the door, or window for that matter? In addition, what are the Governor and alternate, or more precisely The Hon Bill Morneau and Mr Ian Shugart getting out of this? Now, let me be clear. I am not stating that the EBRD is doing anything wrong, illegal or immoral! I am asking questions on where these independent seeking groups are getting their economic wisdom (or lack thereof from) the fact that these organisations ALL have boards of directors, getting an income I reckon, is food for thought, because all that money is set, stored or reserved to some extent and their local citizens should be allowed to know where that money is going to. In addition, when these groups are being invested in, the fact that they have no real viable plan to be economic independent is also a matter of concern, so whoever is setting up the funds in all this should be placed in the spotlight. The questions I ask regarding the EBRD, should give food for thought. Even as many might not remember 1993, the Independent (at http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/attali-runs-out-of-credit-the-ebrd-president-was-finally-forced-to-yield-to-calls-for-his-head-1494218.html) gave us: “Jacques Attali, the beleaguered president of the Bank for European Reconstruction and Development, picked up the telephone in his office in Broadgate and rang a number in Sweden. He spoke for several minutes to Anne Wibble, the Swedish finance minister and chairman of the bank’s governors, who was away from her office on Sweden’s summer solstice holiday. By the time he put down the phone, he had resigned from his post.” It sounds so summery and tranquil, yet the story is not so sweet. With “The Financial Times reported that Attali had been reimbursed twice for the same first-class air fare to Tokyo and had collected dollars 30,000 (pounds 20,000) for a speech there, even though bank staff were not supposed to be paid by anyone but the EBRD“, we see merely another section of the gravy train. First class lights, twice in his case apparently, or is that for what we used to call a ‘travel secretary‘? In addition he seemingly gets more for one day than most are hoping to ever get for an entire quarter. As for the ‘not supposed to be paid by anyone but the EBRD‘, how much was he on? As the list goes on with most notably the refurbishment of 55.5 million, I think I have illuminated enough for more questions to be asked. The article has more and more vicious material, so do read it. This now gets us to the three optional nations to be, because they will need funds and loans and other things. So whilst it is not out of the question that they would knock on all those doors, the slam back from the EBRD part is: “The EBRD’s expenditure on itself was twice as much as the bank’s actual lending in 1991 and 1992, its first two years of operation“, so running the gravy train, or is that ‘hiring executive jets‘ to fly back an forth to these three nations to be, will we see more disgraceful spending? Reuters gives us more from last June with ‘Ex-EBRD banker jailed for six years for bribery by UK court‘ (at https://www.reuters.com/article/us-ebrd-corruption-prison/ex-ebrd-banker-jailed-for-six-years-for-bribery-by-uk-court-idUSKBN19B37Y), with the quote “Andrey Ryjenko, 44, who has joint UK and Russian citizenship, had been found guilty of conspiring to make or accept corrupt payments between July 2008 and November 2009 while he worked at the London-based development bank“, so there are issues and I am decently convinced that in all this Andrey Ryjenko was not the only player, as it went on for well over a year, he was merely the less intelligent one as he was the only one who seemingly got caught. So as we see how Europe is not bursting at the seams for new players to create what we might see as a ‘virtual’ or ‘fictive’ growth of the economic terrain, we will see more economic players, opening new commissions, new ‘opportunities’ whilst in fact, it is merely to set up another part of the gravy train with three new optional stops. This is what is going on behind the political screen and it is happening right in front of our very eyes. So, now as the EIB s loaning Spain 600 million euro for a Basque high speed railway, we need to ask how this will be earning itself back. It might seem nice on the verge of creating jobs for a little while. The idea that something will bring 24 million in revenue a year merely to pay for the interest is just short of insane. It is a 180Km track, so the idea that people would pay 400% to gain 30-45 minutes is close to insane. Having a normal upgraded rail that would be at 30% of the cost giving us a 140-165Km per hour train versus a train that needs to slow down by the time it is a maximum speed is beyond belief (OK, that was a small exaggeration). I get that it might seem really cool for Spain to have their three Basque capitals (Vitoria, Bilbao and San Sebastian) connected, yet the way money is thrown away is just too weird for reality (at http://www.globalconstructionreview.com/news/eu-loans-spain-600m-basque-high-speed-railway/). The 600 million is merely the loan whilst the plan requires at least 400 million more and I feel certain that by 2019 the people get to learn that the calculations were off by no less than 17%. It is the final part that astounded me the most. With “More than 7 million people are expected to use these new high-speed lines in their first year of operation, said the EIB“, Yet when we look at Statista (at https://www.statista.com/statistics/457527/passenger-traffic-in-the-high-speed-train-between-madrid-and-barcelona/) we see that the biggest transport vein (Madrid-Barcelona) was getting between 2.5 million (2010) and 3.4 million (2014), so how that goes up to an astounding 300% for High Speed trains is quite beyond me, because let’s face it, not only is it the size of the place, where we see 3 million for Madrid versus 340,000 for Bilbao, we see Barcelona with 1.6 million versus San Sebastian with 186,000 and there is Vitoria with 244,000. So the population numbers do not add up, the stats compared to other high speed trains do not add up and the required economic importance of the locations do not add up, but someone sold the story that made Spain to be facilitated for a loan that is already surpassing 1.4 billion. That is the game behind the screen and in all this, there are a lot of questions and no one is asking them. The people are merely sitting down, casually seeing train carts full of loans pass by, loans that they in the end have to pay for. And I am willing to bet anyone a nice old beer that the people selling the story that sold got a nice pay check in the end too.

As I personally see it, greed will always be the main player behind nearly every political screen and the three optional nations to be, would potentially get into hot waters on year one of their existence. So how does that solve anything? It is not impossible that these steps are not the beginnings of independent places, it is merely the start of the sovereign right of a financial institution to have the terms of conditions of their needs be made into law by contractual agreement of whatever geographical indicator that they have acquired ownership of through hostile takeovers without an army and no elections required.

And all this comes at a slightly larger price than most would expect (even beyond my descriptions given), as Spain is lowering its forecast, we see the dangers that the deficit will grow way beyond the proportions expected a quarter ago, so that will dampen further positive news. In all this, whilst unemployment is still way over the top, the EU will have a dampened outlook on a few levels, as Spain is now becoming the more outspoken negative element in all this. In this too many players have been looking towards the short term gains that were seemingly in place, yet in the end, so far they still need to prove to be a positive return on investment, something the new High Speed Train is unlikely to ever become. In that setting we see player’s vying for some level of independent growth, whilst they have futuristically been set on a debt level that will merely strangle them. How is that independence or an act to create forward momentum?

We see the elements, yet the media at large steers clear of several parts in all this. At times we hear some overpaid high official in that government state: “It is a really complex matter to address, so we have sought the expertise of the leading members in that field”, we only need to look at ABC (at http://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/2017-01-27/milk-company-problems-as-dairy-industry-sours/8184544) to see the events that involve the Tasmanian-based Linear Capital, we see in addition “Queensland coal miner Bill McDonald told the ABC he planned to build a 40,000-strong dairy herd and was on the hunt for 250 million litres of milk to complement his own production”, it is followed by “Within 18 months, the company announced that Mr McDonald had sold all his shares in the company and he instead planned to invest his money back in the coal industry. His departure came after the company announced its $500 million plan to produce and process its own milk had been put on hold”. So as I see it there is a structural failure, because in all this, where are the contracts? Was there any investigation? What were the findings? All this in an established nation like Australia, so when Scotland, Catalonia and Lombardy get their own version of these ‘investors’, how will it end for them? Perhaps a nice high aimed loan from places like the EIB, the EBRD, or perhaps even both? Yet when the plan starts failing and people start jumping the shark, what then? What will the damage be and how is it that these matters are not set in stronger bonds holding these investors long term accountable for the consequences of their actions.

The real question remains if such events could be prevented; you see the issue was partially addressed by me in August 2013, with ‘Political ego and their costs’ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2013/08/16/political-ego-and-their-costs/) we see the issue raised and not before 2015. In 2 articles the first (at http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2015/05/the-fyra-high-speed-train-debacle-cost-the-dutch-state-e11bn/) shows that the Dutch state losses were stated to be just over €10.8bn so far, the NOS stated that week. Also we see stated: “travellers did not get what they were promised, MP Madeleine van Toorenburg, who is heading the inquiry, told a news conference”. In the second article (at http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2015/10/the-fyra-high-speed-train-debacle-what-the-dutch-papers-say/), So when we see ‘a job half-done which has cost every household in the Netherlands €1,500’, as well as ‘The crux of the matter is the un-transparent and unclear relationship between what was a public sector company and the government’, so the people get to read parts that I had already seen coming two years earlier. Of course the largest delay was the commission, and those dragging their heels to make sure that some names were either delayed in mentioning, or merely blocked from being mentioned at all. The Netherlands and Australia have protection from multi billion Euro stupidities, the new regions will not have that benefit and as such someone gets to pay the price. In all this, the less said on the NHS blunders the better, yet it clearly shows that the entire situation cannot be maintained and still some people end up with a large bag of coins, they move on whilst the households get to pay for their overvalued income.

It is a game that I have seen starting, misreported, placed on notice of communication and written off the red ledgers as bad debt for decades, larger more draconian changes are need to hold ‘PowerPoint users’, who in the end quickly move to another challenge with bags of coins, these people need to sign waivers and be held accountable for damages and losses, yet at that point the politicians will back down, their symbiotic connection being vital to their own futures, no matter how massive a project fails.

The fact that this has been going on for too long and still is happening all over Europe is why I fear that in the end nothing gets solved, nothing is clearly improved and every cent of the overinflated budgets is still spend, often with well over 10% spent beyond of what was available. Feel free to consider your losses as you pay for a project that never worked, was never implemented and is sitting on a shelf; you merely have to release your savings, is that not fair?

So welcome to the show of what you cannot see as it happens behind the stage of the politician and it is demanding all the camera time it can get, leaving you in the dark.

 

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