Tag Archives: Barclays

Consideration in 3 parts

There are several things playing and I think it is only fair that I jump a little this time around. In the first jump I will take us into the realm of technology. First the hardware where Keith Stuart gives us ‘is it worth a £100 upgrade?‘ This is a valid question, yet in all the issue is not merely the £100, it is more so “Microsoft has always marketed Xbox One X as an elite product for true enthusiasts and that’s exactly what it is“, which is something I cannot agree with. You see, Microsoft has refused to listen to the gamers, the actual gamers for the longest of times and with the Xbox One X, I expect (read: I hope) that they will get the pounding they have so deserved for the longest of times. The article (at https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/nov/03/xbox-one-x-review-4k-console-gaming-upgrade) gives you some of the goods, but not all of the goods. You see, the £450 with a 1TB drive is a joke, it always has been. The article names a few games and there a few sources re stating that Destiny 2 is 50GB WITHOUT the 4K assets. There is no clear way for me to find a reliable number there, but with the OS also taking a chunk of the hard-drive, which will be 300Mb at least, we are looking at a console where one game takes well over 5% of that drive. Forza 7 will take well over 10% of that system, now with all the reserved spaces and mind you not ALL these games are that big, you are looking at a dozen games at the most and that is in many cases not including the extra space that the 4K libraries need, so when I stated even before the Xbox One came out (the first one) that Microsoft was not giving consideration to their gamers, I was not kidding. With the Sony PS4 (both old and pro) we have the option to switch the drive at our own expense to a 2TB drive and these things are a mere $105, so one extra cost has kept me safe and hassle free for well over 3 years. Microsoft never allowed their gamers that option, which could be seen as another indicator that Microsoft is actually not giving true consideration to the ‘true enthusiasts‘ as they label them. There are additional flaws in the OS that give less consideration that the Xbox 360 did, so there is that to consider too. A console that might be seen as overpriced, overvalued and overdue a real upgrade. There are more issues, but they are for another day, for now we await the over-hyped release in 2 days.

The second part is one where I have to show fairness (which I have always done). The second part is Assassins Creed Origins. Now, it is on my list to get as I was not trusting Ubisoft after all the things they have done in the past, with the additional embargo of any publications of the game until the day before launch, their approach was shoddy and shady at best. In this case it worked against them. I have watched well over a dozen videos with Eurogamer and IGN showing the best sides, but also leaving us with questions. Yet I had a few questions of my own and i think they need to be put into the limelight. You see, I have slammed Guillemot and Ubisoft for the longest time for not doing their job (or better stated, the job they were capable of). For relying on average scripted events and what I still label as ‘bad programming’. This is not the case in ACO (Assassins Creed Origin). Now when we pull away from the 4K events (which are close to breathtaking), we see a game that has been through quite the change and as such should get some praise, praise on several levels.

First are the reviews, they are like mine all opinions, and even though I was relentless to AC ratings in the past, from all that is clearly shown these ratings are lower than expected. I see the game somewhere between 88%-92% rated (the non PC versions), yet most remain below it and Gamespot gives it a 70% rating which I personally believe to be equally unfair. Now, we can be hard on Guillemot on a few levels, but they did get this game decent. We can argue all we like, but the team that made Black Flag made this game in a good way and I believe that this game might not be regarded as a real AC game. Origin is the start of it all and that makes it fair game, but the clarity is that there are elements that we relate to Witcher 3, Far Fry Primal and Destiny. The reality is that elements in this game have been seen before going all the way back to Ultima7 Serpents Isle, so there is no real identity linking it to a certain game. Now, I do see the elements of Witcher 3 and that is not a bad thing, whilst we need to acknowledge that this game is not some Witcher 3 game, it is truly an Assassins Creed game (whether the player is an actual assassin or not). The wildlife is more dangerous and relentless and a lot less forgiving, which is a good thing (more realistic), and it seems that as far as I can observe, the locations are as any AC game has almost always been. Graphically sublime, even if you have no 4K solution at present. Even as I have been reluctant to see this last AC as a great game, it seems that should this be the last AC game, than Ubisoft goes out on a high note, and that should be heralded by nearly all gamers.

The final part is not a game. I am also getting less convinced that this is merely a leak. We could have accepted to the smallest degree that the Panama Papers were a leak, yet the amount of data that was leaked leaves us with the larger question on how stupid a financial adviser needs to be to endanger billions of dollars in revenue. I have gone back into time checking on a dozen corporations only to find that there was a healthy dose of paranoia in each and every one of them. Some were paranoid from the start, some were pushed by IT as they wanted the latest of the latest and pressing the ‘leak’ button seems to have worked each and every time. So whilst we have been in the sunshine with newspapers giving us Panama Papers on a daily basis, I found it particularly interesting to see the revelation of the Paradise Papers. So when I read “the complex and seemingly artificial ways the wealthiest corporations can legally protect their wealth”, I am not surprised. I have written about the failing of legislation on a global level for long before the Panama Papers and the Tesco affair. As we are told ‘obtained by the German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung‘ we are not asking the right questions. Obtained how? Who gave them? You see, earlier this year we saw some mention of certain players, yet again and again the media have seemingly steered clear of certain parts of the evidence and it is time to mention it. In March we saw a few papers mention on how Barclays, RBS and Crédit Agricole had a sort of Tax Haven set-up where they had to pay a mere 2% in taxation. I think that this opened a door to some players. I think that the Paradise papers is not a leak, I personally believe it to be an attack on these three players as well as an attack on a few others too. The BBC is giving us part (at http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-41876939), with the mention of the SIBUR shareholders, we see that there is an issue as the corporations are facing US sanctions, but the individuals Leonid Mikhelson and Gennady Timchenko are not. They represent a wealth that is roughly 50% of what is Microsoft nowadays. It is making a few people more and more nervous. I personally believe that the Paradise Papers is not a leak it is an American corporate ploy, possibly even with the assistance of Rothschild wealth management (a speculation from my side) to push changes that are a lot more interesting to America. Can I prove this?

That is partially the issue. You see, without the clear data on the leak it might never be proven. it is merely too weird that this happened three times in a row (yes three times, I will let you look deeper into certain places to find the first instance). You see the most interesting part is casually shown at the end of the BBC article. With “a huge batch of leaked documents mostly from offshore law firm Appleby, along with corporate registries in 19 tax jurisdictions, which reveal the financial dealings of politicians, celebrities, corporate giants and business leaders“, this is showing not to be a leak, this is a data gathering by a select few and the combination of large data sets. You see, multiple sources which is clearly seen through the use of ‘mostly‘, and added the ‘19 tax registries‘, shows this to be an event that is precise, it is an act of data gathering and filtering. As such, I see this as a precise strike, more likely than not from financial players who have seen certain bank (Credit Agricole being the most visible one) to grow beyond certain measures and that was not the acceptable mindset of the players who want a different shedding of wealth. This is one of the reasons that I have been keeping tabs on Credit Agricole and that is why they have been in my blog several times. Yet, in all this I did not see the Paradise Papers coming and the clarity we see now, is one where we need to consider who is playing us all, and the media most of all. The Guardian gives us more and more mentions of ‘Tax Avoidance’ and as I mentioned a few days ago. It is not illegal, it is perfectly legal. Most papers will hide behind ’emotional’ parts to cry outrage, but in the end they too are not outspoken on pushing to adapt legislation to change this and to push for clear corporate taxation needs, whilst we see that they are all on the second largest data drain set at 1.4TB. So after the Panama Papers, do you think that banks, especially banks of these kinds, banks that rely on such paths to ensure themselves of a good income. Do you think they would hesitate to invest a few millions into hardware that keeps it secure? No, we see more and more technology, more and more Cloud solutions failing to keep data safe. The BBC gave us in April 2016: “In other words, your data could get lost, wiped, corrupted or stolen“. It seems that not enough people are really listening, happy to embrace the marketing of Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud, whilst there is a real concern on safety (for now). Yet, is that how the data was acquired? It is all good and fine to blame a party whilst the data was somewhere else. You see, those IT people (at Appleby’s) would know better, yet when we see the Irish Times (at https://www.irishtimes.com/business/appleby-the-offshore-law-firm-with-a-record-of-compliance-failures-1.3280860), we see “Appleby has transformed itself into a global institution with more than 700 employees across nearly every major tax haven from the Cayman Islands in the Caribbean, to the Isle of Man in Europe, Mauritius in Africa and Hong Kong in Asia“, in that there is no doubt in my mind that IT would have had (or needed) a much higher visibility on their security profile. I wonder, if I got to investigate their non-repudiation systems and logs, what failings would I find. I can personally guarantee you that with every passing check-mark in place, we get to see more and more clearly that this was not a leak, I would regard this as a precision strike to shift billions from one place to the other, because just like we saw with he Panama Papers, when the super-rich get nervous, a lot of them can be manipulated a lot easier than ever before and in my mind there is no doubt, in this Rothschild is likely to be the one true victor and the one party who had the most to win.

I can only speculate on a few matters, but in the light of the global financial industry, Bermuda, Nassau, Riyadh and Nevada are the larger tax havens. The two papers are giving loads of limelight to three of them, so where will those people go to next?

The financial industry is correlating more and more to a video game, it is all about the hardware and scripted events. When we know that hardware is not the initial flaw one remains, making the case stronger and stronger that this was not a leak, it was a scripted event, whether made specifically for certain hardware remains to be seen . I wonder if the media will ever truly look deeper into how the data was acquired, I doubt it, because that does not make for a sexy story, making them in my personal view less of a player and more of a tool, the question that remains is: ‘the tool for who?

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Stupid after the fact

We have always heralded stupidity, some in their work sphere, and some in the private sphere. It happens. Yet, when we are lucky we get to see the rarest of events, ‘greedy and stupid’ in one neatly wrapped package. That is the view we need to take when we see the Associated Press give us the events of ‘Carlos Nuzman, president of the Brazilian Olympic committee‘. So as we are treated with “In total, 11 detention warrants were issued for people in both Brazil and France in what police dubbed “Operation Unfair Play.”” we need to wonder how this came about. Now, there is the non-existing reality of ‘honour amongst thieves’, yet when it comes to the corrupt that rule will never exist. Most of these people are merely one skip away from being a target themselves. So when we see that the associated press gives us not a lot to go on (most merely circumstantial facts). The NY Times (at https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/08/sports/olympics/whistle-blower-says-he-told-of-rio-olympics-corruption-years-ago.html), has a lot more. With “Mr. Maleson, an outspoken critic of Mr. Nuzman, made accusations about Olympic projects and asked the I.O.C. why it had not prevented Mr. Nuzman, 75, from occupying the dual roles of leader of the Rio 2016 organizing committee and chief of Brazil’s national Olympic committee. “This is a clear conflict of interests, and the I.O.C. should never have allowed this to happen,” Mr. Maleson wrote in a Sept. 6, 2014, email to the I.O.C.’s president, Thomas Bach, and the organization’s judicial body. He contacted the I.O.C. in 2012 to accuse Mr. Nuzman of corruption and election fraud“, here we see systematic failures of organisations that grew beyond their means of comprehension. Consider the time-line. When we consider the Oxford Olympics Study 2016, with: “the outturn cost of the Sydney 2000 Summer Olympics at USD 5 billion in 2015-dollars and cost overrun at 90% in real terms. This includes sports-related costs only, that is, (i) operational costs incurred by the organizing committee for the purpose of staging the Games, e.g., expenditures for technology, transportation, workforce, administration, security, catering, ceremonies, and medical services, and (ii) direct capital costs incurred by the host city and country or private investors to build, e.g., the competition venues, the Olympic village, international broadcast center, and media and press center, which are required to host the Games. Indirect capital costs are not included, such as for road, rail, or airport infrastructure, or for hotel upgrades or other business investment incurred in preparation for the Games but not directly related to staging the Games“, The paper by Bent Flyvbjerg, Allison Stewart and Alexander Budzier (The Oxford Olympics Study 2016) shows levels of failure. The mere realisation of cost overruns that goes into multiple editions of 100% makes it a multi-billion dollar cash cow and there are too many players eager to dip their private (or is that privacy) parts into the golden troth of exploitation. Now, this does not state that Carlos Nuzman is corrupt; it merely gives us the setting. With the NY Times, we see that there is a much larger issue. The fact that there are clear records that there were issues and oppositions, whilst we now see that nothing was done, shows larger levels of failure that seem to be more about not rocking the boat, than to stop hurting the utterly broken image of the Olympics. When we consider the person linked to this, we see that Eric Leme Walther Maleson is the founder and former president of the Brazilian Ice Sports Federation has a long lasting life in sports and winner of three bronze medals in the sport, so we have a winner. This man seems to have been devoted to sports for most of his life. So it is a voice the Olympic committee should not have ignored. You see, the broken image of the Olympics, an image that went from excellence in sports towards the need for big business to promote their products under the guise of media exploitation is utterly void of spirit. Coca Cola, Dow, Intel, Samsung and Visa have changed that landscape. Agreeing to a situation that shows a growing curve of getting it all (namely the infrastructure) in place. You see, the earlier mentioned paper is important, even as we see “cost per athlete has been increasing for both the Summer Games and Winter Games, driven mainly by London 2012 and Sochi 2014. Overall, however, the changes over time are statistically non-significant for both Summer Games“, it is important as we know, or should know that the Olympics are set in three parts: ‘The event, the players and the cost of the location’. If the increase of cost per athlete had been significant, we would have had a less to go on, so with them out of the equation (and take the massive cost for Sochi 2014 away) we now have two elements: ‘The event’, which gives rise to internal corruption of stakeholders and sponsors; with the internal corruption of sponsors not in the mix (at present). We are left with the location and the stakeholders. Now, we all agree that the cost of everything goes up, but consider “15 of 19 Games (79 percent) have cost overruns above 50 percent and 9 of 19 Games (47 percent) have cost overruns above 100 percent“, now we can accept that such events will always come with the cost of business, we need to consider that ‘cost overrun‘ is merely a motto for political downplay of elements in their moment of national pride. I personally see it as an optional place where you can soften opposition with parked billions!

I believe that the paper has cornered certain Olympic elements and it cannot prove it, yet by exposing other parts as non-factorial we now see that the Olympics are a much large mess than the media is making it out to be. Even as we are focused on Carlos Nuzman, we are ignoring the elements that are part of the machine behind it. So when we see USA Today “French and Brazilian authorities said Nuzman brought together businessman Arthur Cesar de Menezes Soares Filho, and Lamine Diack, the former head of track and field’s governing body who at the time was an IOC voting member. Soares Filho’s company, Matlock Capital Group, allegedly paid Diack $2 million into a Caribbean account held by his son, Papa Massata Diack. Authorities said Lamine Diack, an influential African member from Senegal, was instrumental in organizing the African bloc of votes. The widening case implicated four-time Olympic medallist Frank Fredericks. The former sprinter from Namibia has said a near-$300,000 payment he received via Diack’s son on the day Rio won the vote was for legitimate consultancy work. Still, Fredericks lost his place leading an IOC inspection team to visit Paris and Los Angeles” these all seem legitimate elements in all this and it is not part or regarding ‘Frank Fredericks‘, I wonder how and what work he did to get the $300,000. I and many others have never been offered $300K for a consultancy job, so what does ‘legitimate’ entail? The element in this is ‘an IOC inspection team to visit Paris and Los Angeles’, you see, what would they have been privy to and exposed to? The USA today gives us that in the very last line. With “dozens of top politicians implicated in a sweeping judicial corruption investigation in which construction giant Odebrecht illegally paid billions to help win contracts” we are exposed to the cost of doing business. Paying 2 billion to gain 11 billion in contracts is merely good business and the locations still need to be constructed, the untold part in all this. Odebrecht is present in South America, Central America, North America, the Caribbean, Africa, Europe and the Middle East. They have been stepping on large toes and as such certain French players are eager to see it stop. Construction is the largest unmonitored Wild West industry remaining on the planet. Odebrecht with a value now approaching 42 billion is an issue for many players. Even as we are confronted in the US with “Howard Archer, chief economic advisor to the EY ITEM Club, reckoned Friday’s economic data indicated UK GDP growth may likely be limited to just 0.3% for the third quarter, he also acknowledged the disappointment in trade and construction output“, which might not be anything worth mentioning, unless you see it next to Odebrecht and the currently unsubstantiated channels towards a multiple billions (read: expected 2.08 billion) to get 11 billion in extra jobs, now it becomes something the American players (as well as the European ones) are getting huffy and puffy about, because if Odebrecht is getting it, they are not and that is where investigative parties get creative. So when we see “They emerged with suitcases, documents and a computer“, we need to wonder. Was the taken away party actually that stupid, or are we witnessing a new Flim Flam visitation of: watch ‘here’ whilst out of view certain deals are brokered. In all this the sponsors are still part and equally guilty. You see the sponsors let cost overruns of over 100% go and not give proper light to EVERY element in this. Merely that the local political engines were sorting it out for them (and those political players get to live with the consequences), the sponsors merely move on. As I personally see it, these sponsors are supposed to be intelligent, so this is happening with their silent approval, only when they fail to meet the targets that is set towards the costs, only then will we hear them loudly. This is exactly why Qatar 2022 remains in the news, again and again. The media is already kicking up stinks because they aren’t getting anything out of it, they are merely in a place to either accept it or move out. The Daily Mail is giving us more and more allegations and even as some smile because Qatar did not qualify for the world cup 2022, we see “Qatar’s elimination will be enjoyed by its many critics in the West who claim the emirate should never have been given the chance to host the World Cup, pointing to a lack of footballing pedigree as well as corruption and labour abuse claims“, how about these critics in the west shut up as continue to suck the tits of corruption they are currently sucking on? I am more lenient towards Christopher Davidson, who with ““Having never qualified for a World Cup before, I don’t think Qatar should have ever made the claim that it was a genuine footballing nation,” Christopher Davidson, a Middle East expert at Britain’s Durham University, told AFP” we might accept their words, yet when we consider the Jamaica bobsled team, ending up ahead of United States, Russia, Australia and France. Should we take bobsleighing away from the USA or France? We have heard 2 years of utter bullshit of these critics with supposedly showing all air and no evidence? In that same light, should we dissolve the Sunday Times this coming Monday? Remember the claim of “obtained millions of secret documents – emails, letters and bank transfers – which it alleges are proof that the disgraced Qatari football official Mohamed Bin Hammam made payments totalling US$5m (£3m) to football officials in return for their support for the Qatar bid“, so if they do not go public with all the evidence, can we force closure of the Sunday Times? Personally I find the existence of Rupert Murdoch and Martin Ivens offensive. They represent what is wrong with media today, so if they are gone, I will feel happiness. They are going with alleged and proclaimed, whilst the construction levels of corruption are happening at their front door and at that point they remain really really silent. In light of FIFA, we have seen levels of failing where the press was eagerly not rocking any boats at all, merely when big business saw it was losing out, at that point everyone screamed murder and mayhem.

These players have been stupid after the fact for much too long and as such we need to consider whether we need to overhaul the Olympics in ways never conceived before. Perhaps it will downgrade those events for the much larger extent. It will no longer be about drugging, about substance abuse or about the next mobile phone that works better when you drink Coca Cola. It will be about athletes competing for the title of who is actually the best, no sponsors, no advertisements and no billboards.

This is all still ongoing, with Qatar finishing Hamad port, we will see more and more issues rise, but as the stream for completing the WC 2022 event going straight into Qatar, we see that some players will take other venues to see what stink they can kick up. We can see the validity of France trying to aid in resolving the issue. An opportunity Turkey let fly by is now in the hands of Bertrand Besancenot, diplomatic adviser to the government. As France has close ties with Egypt and the UAE while also being a major arms supplier to Qatar and a key ally of Saudi Arabia, we see a player that is eager to find a solution for all as they greatly benefit any solution. If there is one issue, then it is the one that the UAE edition of the National brings us. With “Despite its claims of being ‘under blockade’, Qatar has also expanded shipping routes to India, Oman, Turkey and Pakistan and announced plans to raise its liquefied natural gas (LNG) output by 30 per cent in an effort to weather the boycott“, we see a dangerous turn as there is an actual danger in pushing to raise output towards 30%, as I see it, it requires certain players to circumvent larger safety settings, which could be the start of a very different disaster in Qatar. In addition, who in Al Jazeera will be part of the committee in charge for building and setting up the media centre during WC2022? It could potentially become a new Al Jazeera building merely months after the event and as such, it is an opportunity for Al Jazeera to set the bar for their competitors in the Middle East even higher. There is nothing like raising the output of your own station by 300% to truly get more visibility. In that view, as we will soon hear on how Qatar has optionally additional satellites available for all reporting parties, has anyone considered the impact of government fuelled competition? So when we are stupid behind the fact, were we not looking on what is additionally provided for? So when we are watching Tokyo bring live every match and event in hi-res to our G5 phone free of charge, has anyone considered the fact that we spend an additional $400 to get that phone ahead of schedule? So with 3-5 players getting an additional share of $20 billion for 5G on the initial launch, what is the part we were not looking at? Until the moment is there, we can understand that players like Apple, Google, Huawei and Samsung are quiet as a mouse, but all that ‘bedazzling entertainment‘ represent additional construction billions, additional satellites and longer terms benefits not charged or taxed, all under the guise of: ‘sports’. If it is true that we see the first pilots go live during Pyeongchang, and we will all readily accept that this will be the shining moment of Samsung (the local player there) as it shows what more we can expect from becoming the mobile entrepreneur, what do you think that Tokyo (2020), Qatar (2022), Beijing (2022) and Paris (2024) will bring? These 4 will have a growing infrastructure need which means that construction will grow even further. Four events that can only be done and almost literally set in stone by the strongest and largest players in construction, the instant moment to make several billions merely by being at the right place. That is what others fear Odebrecht could do. Larger players that are at present not ready to the extent that they needed to be for the upcoming considerations. Even as we see the South American headlines regarding Odebrecht, we need to realise that Odebrecht is everywhere. In that, it is: ‘who’s who in Legal’ that brings the ending gem to all this. With “Big-ticket cases involving the likes of Rolls-Royce, Petrobras, Odebrecht and Barclays remain at the forefront of the international corporate crime market, encompassing both corporate and individual defence and therefore keeping a vast number of lawyers across the world exceptionally busy. It is a trend that the majority of lawyers canvassed during our research see no sign of abating, as the fight for transparency and the activities of enforcement agencies intensify” we are shown to the cost of doing business and Odebrecht is not alone and it is not evil, the world changed yet the players on other sides remains stoic and unmoving, now that they are no longer regarded as people who matter, they now shout foul and demand action. So as we see the greedy idiots trying one more tantrum to get the WC away from Qatar, we need to see that the foundation of sports have become rotten and corrupt, the foundations are falling because the structure were never adhering to the reality of doing business. Merely a presentation from an outdated PowerPoint shows that what we saw and what we believe was never a reality. So as the media hides behind claims and allegations stating that the entire system is corrupt and sick, we might argue that the media has labelled themselves as healers seeing what is wrong whilst they are merely the hypochondriacs in this game; seeing and reporting on sickness whilst they have no medical degree or knowledge of the symptoms, or claiming to have the results but are unwilling to make them public. Hiding behind documents that never see the light of day, they proclaim exist, whilst not presenting the evidence, all whilst they herald politicians who in the same air and at that same moment present the acceptance of the ‘invoice of buildings’ that ended up being 100% more expensive as it was for the good of sports. Only after the fact, when the dust settles will some ask questions and do we see that people like Carlos Nuzman, guilty or not being towed away, that whilst questions were asked years before the event. With 5 large events coming up, with close to a trillion at stake, sponsors and stakeholders will not ask questions until targets are not met, or are close to being a risk of not making it. The media will remain on the foreground silent ‘awaiting‘ evidence, merely speculating at times, whilst shouting on behalf of others when those ‘friends’ (read: advertisers) have too much to lose. Greed driven media, this is exactly why people like Rupert Murdoch and Martin Ivens should be discontinued. In the end they are merely in it for the circulation at best and personal greed at worst.

We can all be stupid after the fact, which includes me. Yet when I am I will be in a state of ‘Wow, I so did not see that coming!‘ and I will to improve the way I see things, whilst the others are playing another iteration of ‘the next wave’ to fill their pockets. It sets me apart as I want improvements to a system that could be good and they merely want continuation of their luxurious way of life.

I still believe that certain players will push for the change of Qatar 2022. Yet after that, after it happens, when evidence lacked, we should demand their mandatory retirement from income and public life, and those sponsors should be barred from global sport sponsoring events forever. I wonder how many politicians will turn out to be a mere representation of cowardice at that point in time, trying to find some compromise that their way of life finds acceptable?

 

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On the bridge of slavery

We have seen several steps coming, it has been in the air for a long time, yet, this is the first time where we see a clear step where we are clearly shown that the people no longer have a voice, we are no more than a collection of items in a long reign of collateral damage to MP’s and greed driven entities. The guardian gives us “MPs to push for further measures to increase parliamentary scrutiny of the Brexit process” (at https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/jan/25/theresa-may-agrees-to-publish-brexit-white-paper). This is the show of a group of toddlers who do not want their gravy train to end and they will give any excuse with assistance from the media to prolong their train and maximise their earnings. We see this in “which MPs now want to see before they are asked to pass legislation to trigger article 50“, there was a referendum and the people wanted to get out. Now we see MP’s scurrying to delay and to even stop that what the people wanted.

And the evidence is actually getting stronger on an international level. My issues is that the only one taking this to visibility is Richard Desmond’s the Daily Express and if I have no trust in the publishing ramblings of Rupert Murdoch, I am very much in favour of giving none to Richard Desmond either. Yet, seeking through the article for any name that gives any solid ground for other sources and I got it in Reuters. You see, we now have an almost Mexican standoff, meaning that we can ask President Trump to get into action. The issue is that Mario Draghi gives the quote “Any country leaving euro zone must settle bill first: ECB’s Draghi“, which makes me wonder whether this court jester of idiocy is making the statement as he has been racking up trillions of Euro’s in debt by instigating through flooding the market with funds, that in actuality has had no impact on the economy whatsoever. There is no one to clip the wings of this irresponsible person, those people are all too happy to get the juicy support that their future needs. That is how I see it and lets support that with the following parts that Reuters had in the form of a piece by Francesco Canepa (at http://www.reuters.com/article/us-ecb-eurozone-idUSKBN1542KL).

When we look at the debts, we see the quote “As these payments are not generally settled, weaker economies including Italy, Spain and Greece have accumulated huge liabilities towards Target 2 while Germany stands out as the biggest creditor with net claims of 754.1 billion euros“, so as Mario Draghi keeps on going like a spending jester with a credit card that isn’t his in the first place, we would see that these nations do have debts yet local parliaments never agreed on the spending spree to this extent. So when we get the quote “In a rare admission about the strength of feeling building up against Brussels the Italian pen-pusher Mario Draghi, president of the European Central Bank (ECB), said countries leaving the euro will face huge financial consequences“, we also need to take into mind who got the debt there. So when we see the threat from Mario Draghi, we should consider my article of June 30th 2014. A little over 2.5 years ago. (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2014/06/30/exit-strategies-anyone/), here I wrote “So, the dangers of additional debts from Europe would cripple the UK as well. This is as I see it part of the reason why the UKIP got such a huge success“, now we see that not only was it true, we now see Jester Draghi use it to keep France and Italy under his yoke, he is hereby hoping that the soft UK MP’s will give in, keeping the European Barge named ‘Irresponsible Spending‘ afloat. So, not only was I right, there is an additional issue that I initially proclaimed that the American Economy would drown the European one. I still believe that this is true, yet there is in equal measure now the chance that the ECB could with their irresponsible acts collapse the American one. Because when we see that three nations are shouting stronger and stronger that they want out is also a clear signal that the ECB has been, as I feared for a long time, stacking up debts to make the exit no longer possible. So in that, there is now an added need that Mario Draghi is to be halted spending ANY money at all. If he is forcing a ‘stay in until all debts are paid‘ he is also stating that he should not be allowed to spend any money that has not gone in, basically the ECB would have to go into a trillion plus euro debt and see it as an investment, which with the view of the three largest players wanting out, that step is a bad investment. So will Mario Draghi pull out, or will he hope on non-acting MP’s in several nations who are too fearful of change? Safe money is on the second one, but that in equal measure indicates that those hit by such extremes will seek more and more extreme political sides and soon thereafter, UKIP would be seen as the liberal view which holds the balanced centre of politics. How scary is that?

And we aren’t even close to the centre of blackmail. The view two weeks ago was “Intermediate Capital Group (ICG) will suspend further investment in France if National Front leader Marine Le Pen becomes president in this year’s elections“, which is fun as the scores of Financial advisors in London are looking for new eager shores that they can exploit. Even when we see the news, we see more and more ‘relabeling’ of what is, into what speculators want it to look like. When we see the title ‘Eurozone: Towards a stabilization of growth – Natixis‘, we see something positive, yet the quote “Jesus Castillo, Research Analyst at Natixis, notes that the Eurozone composite PMI remained almost stable on January 2017 at 54.3 and from the manufacturing sector side, it seems that once again Germany has driven the Eurozone expansion“, which seems nice, but from my point of view with the quotes “it means -0.1 point compared to December. The manufacturing PMI rose to 55.1 from 54.9 whereas the services sector survey has registered a small decrease by -0.1 point to 53.1” as well as “From the manufacturing sector side, it seems that once again Germany has driven the Eurozone expansion. The manufacturing index increased by 0.9 point from 55.6 to 56.5 whereas it declined in France (from 53.5 to 53.4) in January“, which means that in the Eurozone, only one nation is getting anywhere and the other 18 aren’t pulling their weight and not getting things done. Harsh, but true. It is in this collection of false relabeling scores, where we see ICG blackmail France, scores of banks blackmail the UK (question: should I use the word ‘blackmail’ or is ‘Psychic Assault’ a better word?), because that is basically what it is and the fact that these players are not named and shamed is an issue for me.

In this 10 days ago, we had the fact that the ECB is also making its choice of ignoring other voices “The European Central Bank will hold to its course at its first meeting of 2017 Thursday, analysts said, resisting clamour to tighten monetary policy from critics pointing to increasing inflation. Since December’s meeting of the ECB’s Governing Council, when it extended mass bond-buying from March to December 2017, price increases in the 19-nation single currency area have picked up. The increase to 1.1 percent from 0.6 average inflation across the Eurozone in December still leaves the indicator well short of the ECB’s target of just below 2.0“, meaning that the ECB is playing an increasing dangerous game whilst loading this debt onto a group of nations with already maximised credit cards. The fact that only Germany got any decent result is also an indication that the ECB is setting a premise that increases the overall European debt by 2 billion a day and nothing to show for it. We can accept and we need to take into consideration that some of these events are long term actions, yet in equal measure it didn’t work the first time, so the second time making it lasts longer is equally a bad idea, which is why he earned the Jester hat.

This reflects back to the EC, because as we see more and more push against Brexit, which some parties are hoping that it will in equal measure diminish the dangers of Frexit. Even as the BBC (at http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-38753808) gives us that ‘Brexit: Article 50 legislation to be published‘, we see in equal measure “But it is expected to face amendments from MPs and peers, while others have said they will oppose it outright“, giving the people a new fear, the fear that the freedom they had on the referendum was fake, a virtual war where the will of the people was never real. We can accept that the “Supreme Court on Tuesday, when judges ruled that Parliament must give permission to start the Brexit process“, which is acceptable, yet in equal measure we now face that in all this, as the EC began this path was never properly set, the lawmakers deceived and betrayed the people of the sovereign nation of the United Kingdom. Even as we know that article 50 is merely the informing part that the UK is leaving the EU, the Supreme Court stopped this from ‘just’ happening, and in that I have no issue, the Commonwealth has always been directed by law (as stated earlier). It does become an issue to me when I see “face amendments from MPs and peers“, the question becomes, what amendments? The people want out and this group of people is growing fast, all over Europe. The bickering, blackmail and phony posturing by those not even properly paying their share of taxation has been a blight in the eyes of the tax paying people. So as we look at John McFarlane and his spearfishing, or is that spearheading a fishing campaign? Anyway, the AFR is reporting on John trying to keep the banks where they are. I am still decently certain that as Frexit is becoming more and more a certainty, those not remaining in London, or those vastly relocating staff, will within 24 months see a sway where they have to explain to the shareholders a massive loss, due to relocations, loss of staff and loss of opportunity and revenue, due to a loss of staff, whilst in equal measure needing to show massive expenditure in France and Germany whilst the revenue never got close to the change. More important, the anger of people with every delay on Article 50 is also prompting other nations to truly spearhead a move out of the EC. So as we consider (at http://www.afr.com/news/world/europe/stay-put-for-brexit-deal-banks-urged-20170122-gtwblk) the quote “Bankers have moved from talking about a “transitional” period, instead labelling it an “implementation” or “stability” period, mirroring the language and rhetoric being used by the British government“, this whilst no one is asking how come that London was the financial centre for Europe before the Euro existed, before we got this open borders stuff. The British centre of commerce was well established, so in all this, why would it have been lost in the first place and for those moving consider that a one market place might see best, but we have shown again and again that it only profits the large corporations and there is too much showing that the next 10 years will not be in hands of large corporations, it will be the smaller ones that will actually start economies and set changes. Those people still see London as the centre of their universe (whether reasonable or not). In that article there is one part that remains cause for concern You see there is truth in “Jes Staley, the chief executive of Barclays, said he did not think that Britain or the EU would use Brexit as an excuse to roll back the global financial framework that has been implemented since the financial crisis“, yet we know better and what Jes is stating is not true. The truth is that, as Reuters gave us in September 2016 (at http://www.reuters.com/article/us-basel-banks-eu-idUSKCN11W1PA), that the banks are very much in favour of rolling it back to some degree. As we see “The European Union may opt out of new global rules aimed at preventing another financial crash because officials are worried they put European banks at a disadvantage at a time when they are losing market share to U.S. rivals“, even at that point, a mere 4 months after Mossack Fonseca, more and more shifts were seen. There is more than one indication that after Mossack Fonseca got out into the open, many had to vacate places and move and interestingly enough, according to Andrew Penney, Rothschild & Co, the U.S. “is effectively the biggest tax haven in the world”, this is also how we learn that private wealth is doing just fine, it merely got as new letterhead from either (or both) an accountancy firm and a law firm.

How do these elements connect? What does wealth management have to do with slavery?

These are important questions and you need to ask them! You see, the freedom of choice, to leave the EU has been undermined for some time now. I understand that it was a close call, yet the Bremainers lost, and just like American Democrats, they are very sore losers, because they aren’t getting their way. In addition, those who have no vote and also require the Bremainers to win are large corporations who require every part of an inch of margin to keep their profits as high as possible, because their bonuses depend on it. That part is no longer an option as these people need to be held tax accountable, as well as these corporations require them to pay their fair share of taxation. With the EU behind us, UK laws can finally be adapted for this to happen. We see all the flim-flam presentations, bullying and blackmail on how they walk away. Yet we can clearly see that the UK was merely the first one. And some margin from 68 million consumers is better than losing 68 million consumers, which is what the UK is steering towards. The untold part is that all these noisemakers do realise that losing the UK and its customer population is really bad, so having some profit will always be better. So when we see the Guardian (at https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/jan/26/brexit-bill-mps-will-get-five-days-to-debate-article-50-plans), with Labour MP’s stating “to guarantee the protection of workers’ rights and securing “full tariff- and impediment-free access” to the EU’s single market“, gets the response ‘who are they kidding?‘, workers’ rights is one and that has existed in the UK long before the EC, in addition and the crunch is ‘tariff-free access‘, which is just to appease large corporations and that has been the problem these last 8 years to begin with. So who is Labour copulating to? (Oops: I meant facilitating for). In addition UK Labour wants as an amendment “to oblige the government to keep all existing EU tax avoidance and evasion measures“, which seems nice, but that could have been avoided if proper legislation had been pushed to come down hard on tax evaders. Yet Labour in all their terms did absolutely nothing to get that decently sorted, so screaming for it now seems a little redundant in my humble opinion.

As we watch from that bridge, we see twists and turns, whilst from the distance we see how financial institutes are enabled more and more, our freedoms fall away. The Financial times being the voice of Bankers on how the ECB is making its predictions. “The European Central Bank has stepped up its warning that it will be difficult for the UK to hang on to its valuable euro-clearing business after Brexit, calling for EU institutions to seek more, not less, oversight of the trade in London once Britain leaves the bloc“, (at https://www.ft.com/content/51a68c6e-e094-11e6-9645-c9357a75844a), which sounds nice and threatening, yet, do the people realise that when Brexit becomes a fact, Frexit will be around the corner and that also means the end of the ECB soon thereafter. So as we see the issues brought by Benoît Coeuré, we see in addition “we’ll have to know what are the new foundations, and whether this is good enough to ensure financial stability in the Eurozone,” he said. “Is that possible? I don’t know . . . It sounds challenging,” he said, adding that the issue “is not for the ECB to judge alone. The [European] Commission will have a say, governments will have a say.”“, this is fair enough, when the UK steps out, another European EC nation could end up clearing Euro derivatives, that is to say, where is that infrastructure in place? The article brings however an interesting side. With “Theresa May, Britain’s prime minister, indicated that financial services could be one of a number of areas where the UK would like to retain “elements of current single market arrangements.” But that idea of special sector-by-sector deals encountered an immediate pushback from other EU leaders, who are wary of British attempts to cherry-pick advantages of EU membership“, this view is not incorrect, yet in equal measure, what cherries would the Amsterdam, German and French markets like to pick? The point I am trying to make is not the issue by itself, which is fair enough, the issue is surrounding the people behind the curtains. People like Mario Draghi, Benoît Coeuré and the other four. When push comes to shove, I feel that they for the most have their own needs in mind, the public at large should have seen by now that the ECB has been pushing their own game, the rising debt is only one of the games played. The other one is actually shown in an interview with Romano Prodi (at http://www.italy24.ilsole24ore.com/art/politics/2017-01-16/intervista-prodi-132036.php?uuid=AEIWmr), there Prodi states: “The euro area’s economy is however recovering, although, according to European Central Bank President Mario Draghi, the main risks come from the field of politics” on one side we see that the ‘recovery‘ is misplaced as shown earlier is  at less than one percent and Germany is the only one achieving it in the end, that is not recovery. What Mario Draghi calls ‘the main risks come from the field of politics‘ sounds nice, but in the end, most politicians have an economic knowledge that is a mere joke (slightly less than my non-economic education), they get their advice from economic people most of them connected to banks, and they don’t want Brexit to happen. In addition, as shown earlier, the banks are starting to push back against Basel because of the US advantages, meaning that the banks are becoming larger risks again. Does anyone remember how these bankers ended up in prison in 2008? They did not! Their quality of life only increased to the larger degree whilst the rest of us saw a diminished quality of life that even today has not restored itself. So the view from the bridge is not that great, it shows on how we lost too much and in all this Bremaining could spell even more disaster before the end of the year. That last one is not a given, but we always knew that there would be hard times. Now we only need to worry on when that crash does happen, on how the ECB will blame everyone except for themselves and their utter reckless spending of trillions. The bridge of slavery has no view, yet unlike the Hussaini Hanging Bridge you do not get to die if you are ‘lucky’, you get to live through the agony of cleaning up the mess others made and they end up being protected and not held accountable.

 

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Working for a new boss

This morning starts off with an entirely different wave of events. Brexit is turning out to the two teams misrepresenting issues as much as possible, many of these representations are about scaremongering. The NHS is going on and on and on and other views are given. In both cases I agree with some parts, I disagree with loads of it (from my point of view with decent evidence). Yet all this we would have overlooked almost half a dozen articles. The story is only the smallest part of it. What is massively interesting that there is for a chosen few a job available! It is not glamorous, you will be frowned upon, but consider a job that will get you a 7 figure income (after a while), a decent house, possible tropical views a few times a year. In this day and age? Who would not accept that? Perhaps the single ideological man or woman, but that leaves a few million people, all ready to accept a position with the glamorous firm of Mossack Fonseca, a panama based law firm, with services on a global scale. Clients like Russian President Vladimir Putin (allegedly). They operate in tax havens including Switzerland, Cyprus and the British Virgin Islands, and in the British crown dependencies Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man. I would love a nice job on Guernsey, a nice house, retirement at some point. I am a Trade Marks attorney, one that would love to get an additional degree in finance if that gives me a good job with Mossack Fonseca, is that not what you saw?

The first article ‘What are the Panama Papers? A guide to the biggest leak in history‘ (at http://www.theguardian.com/news/2016/apr/03/what-you-need-to-know-about-the-panama-papers), assisting the rich and famous store their wealth in tax havens. You see, this is all legal, this is not FIFA screwing its soccer fans over breaking ethical boundaries. This is all thankful to a multitude of short-sighted politicians (or really clever ones depending on your point of view) who enabled options in their tax homes. The article ‘used lawfully to anonymously hold property and bank accounts, these companies were registered in a range of tax havens and this map shows the most popular locations among its clients. The British Virgin Islands held more than 100,000 companies‘, so you would not be breaking the law. You just have to accept that some people pay (a lot) less taxation. After 30 year I have clearly seen and learned that living morally correct will get you a one bedroom apartment in the suburbs, a place you will not be able to pay off before you die. So as morality is not a legal requirement, as all this work is perfectly legal, why not?

This is all coming to light because of a leak, someone (as stated by the Guardian) got a hold of 2.6 terabytes of data. The quote is literally “There are 11.5m documents and 2.6 terabytes of information drawn from Mossack Fonseca’s internal database“, which implies that the facts were discovered through criminal activities. This means that Mossack Fonseca might have a case against those perpetrators. Another interesting quote is “Using offshore structures is entirely legal. There are many legitimate reasons for doing so“, so why not become a service provider here?

On the other side there is the quote “In a speech last year in Singapore, David Cameron said “the corrupt, criminals and money launderers” take advantage of anonymous company structures. The government is trying to do something about this. It wants to set up a central register that will reveal the beneficial owners of offshore companies“, which is equally valid. Mossack Fonseca stated: “it complies with anti-money-laundering laws and carries out thorough due diligence on all its clients. It says it regrets any misuse of its services and tries actively to prevent it. The firm says it cannot be blamed for failings by intermediaries, who include banks, law firms and accountants“, this gives us another side too. When we consider banks we can consider Barclays (Libor 2012), Marcus Agius, former chairman of Barclays, resigned from his position over it. He’s sitting pretty being amongst others on the board of the BBC. Now, there is no evidence that he was directly involved, but it happened under his nose (so to speak), with a few exceptions most got out with their bonus intact and this was a legal transgression, so why would anyone not want to work for Mossack Fonseca, who is not breaking any laws?

When we consider law firms we should consider the news form the Independent in 2013 where we see: “The Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca) knew six years ago that law firms, telecoms giants and insurance were hiring private investigators to break the law and further their commercial interests, the report reveals, yet the agency did next to nothing to disrupt the unlawful trade” (at http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/the-other-hacking-scandal-suppressed-report-reveals-that-law-firms-telecoms-giants-and-insurance-8669148.html) and when we see the word ‘accountant’ I think Tesco and Pricewaterhouse Coopers. For example the quote I used “Tesco paid PwC £10.4m in the last financial year – plus another £3.6m for other consultancy work“ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2014/09/30/thriving-team-tesco/) in the article ‘Thriving Team Tesco?‘, where again the case of wrongdoing should be regarded as more likely than not, so why would we not consider perfectly legal work at Mossack Fonseca?

Let’s not forget that the governments on a global scale are enabling this to get some tax revenue. Consider that the British Virgin Islands have 100,000 companies, without them, how much taxation would have been collected? It is a mere case of need and availability.

For example, a fictive person goes to His Excellency John Duncan and states: “Sir, if you offer us a favourable tax option, the option would be open to bring industry and taxable revenue in access of $1,000,000,000. Would you be willing to consider a low taxation plan?” to this the governor would respond “My dear man, we have no profit tax and no corporation tax!

So how long until the big boys move a few billion to a place like that?

We seem to find time to worry about ethical issues, when the installed governments in Europe have yet to show a mere accountable bone in their bodies for overspending trillions. We seem to be ignoring the obvious. Even if this was illegal, how many banker have gone to prison from 2004 onwards? This is not illegal, this is a mere application of true globalisation. In addition, consider that offshore companies and offshore trusts are in most cases taken out of the view of taxation to begin with, so why not employ this option?

You see, the part that is in the middle of all this is not answered, it is skated around. No one seems to care on HOW the information was gotten at. The quote “2.6 terabytes of information drawn from Mossack Fonseca’s internal database” implies hacking. This does not mean that it could not have been facilitated by internal sources. Such an amount of data does not just easily download, so either someone got access and mirrored a drive, which implies that the server was accessible, what is more likely (read: speculation), is that this is one of the first cloud hacks. To have such a large environment, so global gives the option that data was in the cloud and someone was able to access it. This morning IT Pro had the following quote (at http://www.itpro.co.uk/data-leakage/26293/panama-papers-leaked-through-server-hack-1). “it had opened an investigation after discovering that “unfortunately” it had suffered “an attack on its email server” and that it is taking “all necessary measures to prevent this from happening again“, which could be the case. My issue here is that from a server, getting access to that much data should either be noticed (bandwidth), or it was internal (read: facilitated). When we consider the e-mail data overall, there is nothing that raises flags. Oh yes, there is! That much data with a truckload of attachments gives food for thought. Even as we consider no criminal acts have been undertaken, one would try to secure that much data. Perhaps this was done, but how was so much data gained?

In my view, encrypted UNIX servers would have required massive amounts of time to access and a good IT team always keeps one eye on their servers. Fortune quoted “Mossack Fonseca is calling the 11.5 million leaked documents a “limited” breach” (at http://fortune.com/2016/04/04/panama-papers-law-firm/), which is also likely, yet in all that if that was limited, yet fortune gives us one quote the Guardian would be unlikely to state “It appears that you have had unauthorized access to proprietary documents and information taken from our company and have presented and interpreted them out of context“, now that part will be close to impossible to prove, because the Guardian clearly stated “Using offshore structures is entirely legal

No matter how this plays out, it seems to me that politicians on a global scale will start playing their ‘hypocrisy card’. Which is another laughing matter altogether. I cannot predict how this will officially play out, but they do have a website at http://www.mossfon.com/ and they are also in Trade Marks, so I should see what my options are. For you the reader, especially those with a degree in wealth management. I suggest you send your resume to:

The MF Group
54th Street, Marbella
Panama, Rep. of Panama

You could also go to web page: http://www.mossfon.com/about_service/careers/, if you want to post your resume online!

Let’s not forget, these people have not broken any laws (at present).

Have a fun day and dream of a life without debt in a place you could never have afforded in any other legal way.

 

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Condoning corruption!

There is no escaping the news, FIFA is currently getting smeared all over the place, but before we start painting the roses red, the question we must ask is who are we trying to appease?

Our own sense of morality perhaps?

My first writing on all this started on March 19th 2014 in ‘Any sport implies corruption!‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2014/03/19/any-sport-implies-corruption/), There I looked at the first allegations against Qatar. The evidence presented was highly debatable. It took me to a response Lord Denning gave in the trial Miller v. Minister of Pensions [1947] 2 All ER 372. The statement was “more probable than not”. In the end, I had reservations on whether Qatar was guilty of bribes. I finalised my view with “it is more likely than not that three people were falsely set in an illegal light so that several unnamed persons could walk away with many hundreds of millions of Euros“. My view was apparently a lot more optimistic!

Now we get to the news of the last few days.

On May 27th FIFA officials get arrested on corruption charges. (06:00)
On May 27th Criminal investigation into 2018 and 2022 World Cup awards opened (09:30)
On May 27th FIFA presidential election to go ahead, no 2018 and 2022 World Cup revotes (10:30) (source: http://www.espnfc.com.au/)

At 14:30 4 members, Chuck Blazer, Jose Hawilla, Daryan Warner and Daryll Warner plead guilty. So, even as daddy Warner proclaims his innocence, it seems that he was able to instil values of corruption in his boys. However just now in the Wall Street Journal (at http://www.wsj.com/articles/three-men-with-ties-to-former-fifa-official-aided-probe-1432859617) gives us the quote “businessmen who have been involved in ventures…including ventures involving their father”, which gives way to daddy Warner being in water a lot warmer than he might find comfortable.  But in all this, the disturbing part is not the fact that FIFA seems to be corrupt through and through, it is odd in my view that this has been going on under the watchful eye of police forces all over Europe, as well as Interpol. These events were all brought to light by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (of FBI for short). Is that not puzzling? I was not the only one thinking this. A similar thought came from Chris Bryant MP (at http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-the-papers-32925653)

When we consider certain facts.

From USA Today we get “Blazer was a member of the FIFA Executive Committee from 1996 to 2013, when he was replaced by Sunil Gulati. That same year Blazer was accused of taking over $15 million in payments from FIFA over the course of his tenure and was suspended“, so now suddenly he is regarded as a ‘Report: Former FIFA executive-turned-informant‘ and he had a $6000 apartment for his cats! So, basically he had a pussy place for that cash? Yet the part that is linked here is “CONCACAF’s offices took up the entire 17th floor, but Blazer often worked from two apartments where he lived on the 49th floor“. It seems to me that there is a lot more going on here. Is it perhaps (mere speculation) that certain meetings were to be taken in a deniable setting? More important, I get it that the FBI caught on, but why did the Police forces all over Europe remain blind to all this? In addition, this also brings the entire Michael Garcia debacle again into focus. The fact that this level of corruption had been going on, and as far as we can tell, it happened under the nose of Michael Garcia. When we consider he had been digging into the entire corruption issues for both 2018 and 2022, it seems odd that no flags were raised when we consider the lavish lifestyle of some members. The fact that his appeal to publish the entire document he worked on was overthrown, now these people will get to explain a lot as the corruption scandal spins out of control and anyone now trying to withhold information could end up painted black by the ‘corruption brush’!

It is Attorney General Loretta Lynch who says it best: “It spans at least two generations of soccer officials who, as alleged, have abused their positions of trust to acquire millions of dollars in bribes and kickbacks”, so over two generations, decades in activities and the President Sep Blatter remains blind to it all? I am not stating whether he was involved, that is up to the FBI and they did not find anything, the fact that he should have been aware something was wrong is ample evidence that Sep Blatter is nowhere near fit to preside over FIFA. Not when something like this goes on for decades under his presidency.

If we accept the view from the Guardian (at http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/may/28/fifa-expose-british-press-andrew-jennings-sunday-times-corruption-fa), where we see: “Andrew Jennings, 71, who has traced Sepp Blatter’s footsteps for more than a decade. Jennings worked for the Sunday Times and BBC’s Panorama. His BBC film about FIFA corruption, The Beautiful Bung, appeared as long ago as 2006“, so as we consider these facts and the fact that this happened, for a large extent under the eyes of Sep Blatter, as we see that he had made no moves since the 2006 film, which should have been an eye opener for him, Scotland Yard and Interpol, but it was the FBI in 2015 who got it done!

Is there no blame? With this level of negligence? I hardly think that is the case and as I see the presidency of Sep Blatter should be cut immediately. In addition, if FIFA wants to regain any level of credibility, it has in my view, no other option but to publish the full report by Michael Garcia. You see, what is in there will be revealing, but I feel certain that what is not in there might be worth even more. Because all this happened, because certain steps were not done and even the tail coat of Michael Garcia is very likely to get smudged. Now let me be clear, I do not believe that Michael Garcia did anything wrong, yet as he started his role in July 2012, he must have had a few thoughts on how he can remain so isolated from the entire pack, as it was devouring the better part of 150 million. Red flags should have been raised in the corner of his eyes, but that might be just me speculating!

The other part hit me when I read the article “Chuck Blazer: FIFA ‘supergrass’” (at http://www.bbc.com/news/32913599), when we consider the quote “it was at this time that Blazer signed a contract with Concacaf that entitled him to 10% commissions on all sponsorship and TV rights deals through his company Sportvertising, giving rise to his nickname of ‘Mr Ten Percent’“, so he gets 10% and still he gets on the Trans Corruption Express? In 2011 he gets the option to become the inside man, the informer. It seems to me that this person has been given a way to lavish life, with 2 repayments. The first one of 1.9 million and another one still to come. I reckon his attorney will use the ‘colon cancer card’ for maximum effect.

I reckon, the FBI did in light of the inaction by so many others, a great job!

The question on everyone’s mind will be regarding the future of FIFA, because without a complete overhaul and without a complete rewriting of the rules, there is every chance that FIFA might not be tolerated any further. There is one more matter, which was set at http://www.theguardian.com/football/2015/may/28/australian-police-asked-to-investigate-500000-payment-to-fifas-jack-warner. Here we see ‘Australian police asked to investigate $500,000 payment to FIFA’s Jack Warner‘. So this is another ball game. My question is in the first degree, what was the payment for? Was there a receipt? The Sydney Morning Herald had an interesting part: “The $500,000 payment by the FFA to a football association bank account controlled by Warner – a payment ostensibly made to redevelop a stadium in Trinidad and Tobago“, so why was the Football Federation Australia paying to redevelop a stadium there? The second quote “The FFA on Thursday defended its failure to report the matter to Australian or US police on the basis that FIFA – the organisation now at the centre of an international corruption storm – asked them not to” is even further troubling. Basically, FIFA officials seem to get away with it, the moment the word ‘FIFA’ and ‘request’ are mentioned together, the simple application of Common Sense went straight out of the window.

Even though there will be no resetting of 2018 and 2022, issues still need to be addressed. There is now an additional side to all this. Editors seem to forget at times what they do, but let me remind you regarding the article I wrote on November 14th 2014 called ‘Sacking the editor?‘, in there Martin Ivens is quoted by Reuters: “Britain’s Sunday Times newspaper reported that some of the “millions of documents” it had seen linked payments by former FIFA executive committee member Mohamed Bin Hammam to officials to win backing for Qatar’s World Cup bid”, is that not interesting? So, did the police act on any of that? Is it perhaps possible that the allegations from a newspaper actually hindered a criminal investigation? It is hard to say as the direct facts are murky (and my view on UK Criminal law is murky too), but it all gives way to a hidden stream of events under the FIFA tsunami that is now hitting the press. Has the press shouted ‘wolf’ so often that certain officials stopped acting? That is the direct question here, because the indignation that Chris Bryant MP voiced (Labour) is very real. Why did the FBI solve that what should have been squarely in the corner of Scotland Yard and Interpol. Andrew Jennings is only one of many sources that seem to have been ignored by many people and players on numerous levels.

So, are we condoning corruption? Before you say ‘no’ consider how long this issue was unattended and the fact that the FIFA president, who remained oblivious to the entire matter is at this point likely to be re-elected calls for even more questions. The last part was released half an hour ago. We must give option to refer to the Serious Fraud Office with some laughter as it is now assessing the ‘materials’ which give voice to the fact that Barclays, HSBC and Standard Chartered Bank were used to transfer cash. Didn’t we see two of those banks in other ‘issues’ involving cash?

Is anyone else finally waking up?

The Original Indictment: fifa-indictment-webb-etal

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The Defiant Possum!

Yes, Greece is all over the news today, in many ways the people are now expecting a Grexit, the Greek exodus from the Euro. The people are reading more and more about the Greek way and no one is playing nice anymore. Even though readers might disagree with my view, which remains forever valid, let me show you the evidence that brought me to this!

The Centre Party, led by telecoms millionaire Juha Sipilä, must now put together a coalition. And if he invites the Finns into office too (Timo Soini, leader of Finns, who has already vowed to change’s Finland’s approach to Greece), we will see the complication regarding the chances of agreeing a third bailout for Greece. (Source: the Guardian). You see, Finland’s economy not in a great shape and they are now facing austerity. Sipilä had pledged a wage freeze and spending cuts to make it competitive again, which are issues that Tsipras is not addressing, which means that the Finns are no longer playing nice, one less vote that might have been in favour of any third bailout, now lost, the trip from Tsipras playing nice with the Russians did not help either. We now see a direct consequence on inaction where the observing it all are going more extreme, less positive towards the Euro. The Finnish Centrist Party is only a smaller step in the path that UKIP, National Front and the PVV are proclaiming. So, those who were rightfully sceptical of my predictions can now personally see the first of 6 steps fulfilling, the Pro-EU part in Finland lost and the Centrist party now has a staggering 49 seats, they are now in the centre of any coalition, gaining 14 seats. This is the danger I foresaw all along, even if many other parties were blind to this danger.

The second part was seen today when Fabrizio Goria (@FGoria) published the Barclays list on the payments that Greece has to make, these are only repayments and payments on maturity of bonds, the repayments are €1B by May 15th, €1.7B by June 17th, €4.7B by July 20th and €3.6B by August 20th. This brings the total repayments €10.7B before September 1st. Can anyone tell me how they expect to pull this off? Let us not forget that the days of the Onassis shipping fortunes are gone, the nation has a population of 11 million. We could state that it boils down to 970 Euros from every Greek (including the minors and babies), in addition to the taxation they are mostly not paying at present anyway. Add to that that many Greeks are living way below the poverty line.

So when we hear on French TV (iTele) the fact that Moscovici added that “Plan A is for Greece to remain in the Eurozone, and there is no Plan B. But there’s also no time for prevarication“, so in this story of ‘Moscovici the Possum’, playing dead to the realities of finance, where the next bailout of €7.2 billion, does not even cover the bills due before September 1st, which add up to a lot more than the bailout money that might not even come in. When we saw that the last payment was almost not made, when the Greeks pulled it off we saw the some triumphant pose of ‘we did it!‘, whilst we also saw that it cleaned out Greece for the most and that the payment made is only 10% of what is due over the next 18 weeks. This is the future I foresaw, one that could be done by nearly all using Excel or an abacus.

But this is not just about my view, others see it in the same way. Although, there is (as will be) an opposition view too and I do not ignore it. Foremost there is the eminent view of Simon Nixon from the Wall Street Journal. He stated: “One option is that Greece fails to get a deal with its creditors (quite plausible), runs out of cash (ditto) and then defaults on a debt repayment payment. But that wouldn’t immediately trigger Grexit“, which is where I am to some extent. Yet, he adds to that “How things play out after [a default] that will depend on who Greece decides to default on and the reaction of bank depositors. If Athens defaults on a government bond or loan, then the ECB will have to raise the price that banks pay to access emergency liquidity from the Bank of Greece, effectively depriving them of access to fresh supplies of euros. If Athens decides instead to default to its own citizens, perhaps by issuing IOUs to pay pensions and salaries, bank customers may start emptying euros from their accounts. Again, banks would quickly run out of collateral for emergency liquidity. In both cases, Athens would have to introduce capital controls and bank holidays to stop the financial system imploding. Some officials believe Greece could carry on for several weeks if not months in this state of limbo while still technically remaining part of the Eurozone“, I am not denying his view, he has a good grasp of things so he is probably a lot more correct then I am. Yet, my issue now is not whether they remain in the Euro, but the ramifications of Greece remaining in the Euro, regardless of the consequences and through the wheeling and dealing of several players who feel profitable if Greece remains in the Euro. Finland is only the first of 6.

Second is the UK with UKIP, that party is still growing and the Varoufakis rock star tour, as we saw it over the last two months, only agitated people all over Europe, the entire German slamming thing as well as the political statements around the refugee issues did not help either. So as UKIP grows, so will the option (and future) of the Euro diminishing in equal measure, the nightmare that Moscovici will like even less.

Third on the list is France with National Front. They will go on growing and the momentum UIKIP gets will massively benefit National Front, the party that was ignored for way too long has become a voice of power in France. Marine Le Penn has become a global player, another member against the softness for Greece and even less in favour of the Euro power as it diminished the force of France will take a steep change for the worse of the health of the Euro as they gain more momentum.

Fourth is the Dutch PVV, by themselves not that powerful or too influential, but with the like minded views they have to some degree to both UKIP and National Front, PVV will be invited to several tables they were not invited to earlier, even though their favour is falling (especially against the Dutch VVD), they remain a higher placed party (higher than they were before) and should the VVD be unable to create a working dialogue with UKIP and National Front, we will see more growth towards PVV, making them another voice that asks to end the Euro.

Fifth is Germany. Their power is actually twofold, first there is the growing opposition from Bernd Lucke, with his AfD (Alternative for Germany), remains on a forward momentum. And as they are anti-Euro, that ship needs to be closely watched, in addition, some German magazines state that one in two Germans are now in favour of Grexit. And here we get the first major Crux. Should some player overextend their reach by forcing some ‘deal’ keeping Greece in the Euro with a last minute ‘miracle’ solution (with ‘some’ hidden costs down the track of course), then the move towards AfD could be a lot more massive than before, the German player is the biggest one at the moment (in economic regard to the other 5 parties) and they have had enough (especially after the WW2 debacle Tsipras reignited).

Sixth in all this is the wildcard Italy. Here we have several unknowns, yet there is also a glooming danger. You see, the party here is Lega Nord, normally, this party is the one that is not the biggest contender it never was. However, Matteo Salvini is making headway, slowly but surely. Now we get the other side of the Greek issue. Matteo could grow in Italy with Lega Nord, the same way Syriza got Greece under Tsipras. Now we have ourselves a different fight, because Lega Nord is the opposite of Syriza and they are anti-Euro, as well as Anti-immigrant. So the issues pushed on us by Greece that are nagging us, are also growing the powers of Lega Nord. Normally it would not be such a big deal, but with National Front and UKIP being similar minded, Lega Nord will now get a more powerful European voice, together they will also push growth for AfD, or through AfD. I feel that they could grow a ‘symbiotic’ relationship.

If you are scared now, then do not be (unless you are a banker). These issues have been clearly in play and the vocally uttered path from Moscovici is helping these six entities and his speeches might help Moscovici a little less over the coming weeks. By trying to hold onto ‘Status Quo’, Moscovici might be achieving the opposite, who is the nice cuddly Possum now? Actually Possums are regarded as pests in New Zealand, so even as the possum is protected in Australia, is gets shot on sight in New Zealand. So as Moscovici contemplates his value as an asset by some, several nations are regarding the steps of Moscovici to be like a pest. Even though most of these politicians are not into the fair wildlife ‘game’, they will regard his policies and the need for them to be shot down at their earliest convenience. Not by the six I mentioned mind you, but as these issues are reason for growth for the six players mentioned, the other parties in those nations will now slowly more and more accept sacrificing Greece (by holding them to account), for them it is about governing and their chance to do so diminishes with every iteration where Greece remains unaccountable.

So here is as I see it the opposition I see to Simon Nixon from the wall Street Journal. Not because he is wrong (he is not wrong), but because the correct path seems to elevate some political parties to the degree that several political opponents do not want to see, which exasperates the Greek position even further.

This all escalates even further when we consider the news from NBC less than an hour ago. The title ‘Greece requires public sector entities to transfer cash balances to central bank’ should worry many, as it could be the first signal for the population of Greece to make a bank run (at http://www.cnbc.com/id/102601803). The quote “Greece issued a legislative act on Monday requiring public sector entities to transfer idle cash reserves to the country’s central bank, as part of efforts to deal with a cash squeeze” gives a fair view that Greece is trying to collect all the ‘idle’ cash there is. Is that not addressing the very last option? The second quote is “Monday’s act excludes pension funds and some state-owned firms. Cash reserves that are needed by these bodies for their immediate payment needs are also excluded from the regulation”, here we get the part ‘excludes immediate payment needed for pension funds’, yet what is ‘immediate’ here? 4 weeks, 8 weeks? This could possibly imply that those on a pension might not receive anything from June 1st onwards. Perhaps this is just to make headspace (or is it fund space) until May 12th? I do not presume to know the answer, but the Greek acts only confirms how right I was all along (as I see it).

So as Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras seems to continue to try to convince sceptical foreign creditors to extend new financial aid, we must ask how successful does Alexis Tsipras consider his chances when the state is collecting all ‘idle’ coins. If it takes all coins just to make the next €1 billion, whilst 9.7 is still required soon thereafter, how much faith will the creditors have? So, the earlier statement that Yanis Varoufakis made (three days ago), when he stated “On the 24th [April] there will not be a solution, there will be progress”, he’ll better wake up now and realise that he finds a decent solution before Saturday, because progress might not be enough and when the creditors state ‘no!’, then the Greek default could be regarded as the next reality. By the way, the quote from Bloomberg (regarding the legislative act of Greece) is: “Central government entities are obliged to deposit their cash reserves and transfer their term deposit funds to their accounts at the Bank of Greece,” the presidential decree issued Monday said on the government gazette website. The “regulation is submitted due to extremely urgent and unforeseen need”, I wonder what unforeseen need they might imply, because there was very little un-foreseeability regarding the strapped cash issue, that part was almost crystal clear when the previous payment was barely made.

The only thing remaining is to keep an eye out on the quotes from Pierre Moscovici for the next 48 hours, it might be interesting to see the ‘swing’ it holds (if it swings).

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Rated into immorality

Can anyone explain something weird to me? The news is given (at http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/nov/14/twitter-given-junk-credit-rating) to impress upon us a combination of values and steps that are beyond immoral. Consider the tweet, tweet twitter engine. I use it almost every day, it is the one unbiased part where we can follow events, people and companies so that we keep up to date, small messages that bring the actual information. A company that had a massive idea, is making money, when we see the quote “Jim Prosser, a spokesman for Twitter, pointed to S&P’s own words as comment: “Twitter will continue to experience very strong growth and not encounter a significant increase in competitive pressure.”“, we see issues, but is anyone seeing the question behind it? Then we see the one little gem hidden in all the text “The rating is unsolicited“, is this part of the issue? You see, as we look at companies, their revenue, their profit and some might consider their contribution, so as we look at it why is S&P suddenly decided ‘Twitter given junk credit rating‘? It seems to me that there is an economic shift going on. As companies are doing well, they are now getting downgraded for not meeting the expectations of some analysts.

Yet, where is this world going to?

Consider the application of morale (a word not found in a financiers dictionary) and reasoning for my thought train at present is the following: ‘Forex-rigging investigation: George Osborne gives full backing to SFO‘ (at http://www.theguardian.com/business/2014/nov/14/forex-rigging-investigation-george-osborne-sfo). Libor, Forex, Tesco and there is absolutely ZERO indication that this is just it. At the edge of reason we see the quote ‘Because I don’t want you to see any of my wobbly bits‘, which sounds ample and applicable as the financial district of happily ‘screw everyone over‘, it is all about the wobbly bits, according to Bridget Jones!

Consider the Forex articles. The second one is http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/11/14/us-banks-forex-crime-idUSKCN0IY0LV20141114. The issue is not just the events, the quote “Royal Bank of Scotland, HSBC, JP Morgan, Citigroup, Bank of America Corp and UBS were hit with penalties. Barclays is still in talks with authorities over a settlement“, which not just how far the issue has overstepped, but the issue is where banking laws are falling short, short to the extent that we have in access of half a decade. The issues continued after the banking collapse as the financial population continued to be nothing more than an eager courtesan to the bonus they so crave. The end result is a malignant decay of morals, standards and all this now (as I personally see it) on the standards as the poor are left with less than none, so Standards & Poor it is!

We now get back to what I regard to be a new level of exploited levelling. Consider the hidden simplicity that Libor held; now consider that debt ratings Moody’s, S&P, Fitch and the relative newbie Egan-Jones decide on ratings. Combine ‘how to lie with statistics‘ (a famous book by Darrell Huff) and the need to manipulate the market for 23 billionaires and we see the light of junk status made Twitter in a whole new light. Consider the basic state of an economy. A company sells, makes profit and pays taxes, a nation flourishes! This is a naive (remember my non-economic degree?) approach towards the worlds cloud of business. Investors, shareholders, analysts and raters are a cog within a machine of cogs. Yet this inner circular machine is different. It inflates, malleably changes and coaches towards a change that seems to be intent on syphoning and draining virtual cash flows into a different premise of profit, which is then turned to actual money. In an age of debts that go beyond the total of all treasuries, virtual numbers that have little to no foundation. The foundations and the levels they have been compromised towards are of a dimension we never imagined possible. Consider that the big banks have been fined in excess of 2.3 billion (at http://www.forbes.com/sites/halahtouryalai/2013/12/04/big-banks-fined-2-3b-over-illegal-libor-cartels-more-fines-on-the-way/), I wrote about it in ‘60% confiscated and counting in Cyprus!‘, on April 1st 2013, yet do not think this article to be a joke. I stated “If this is what frightens the US, then consider the consequences of a system like LIBOR being manipulated through the total value of trade. If that would have been off by 11.2%. Out of $1000T (UK and US combined) then that difference would be $112T“, several people laughed out loud then, yet now consider not just Libor, but the audited events of Tesco, the $5.3 trillion market of Forex and the fact that morality might be found in a church, but as we see the evidence, morality is not found in banks and financial institutions, where will it end?

With the Twitter events that question becomes more debatable and the impact that rating companies now impress upon profit turning companies have. Is it just about profit, or about the stated ‘anticipated statement of profit’? As certain ‘analysts’ claim that events are not exceeded, stock becomes junk, waves are created and as such, the welfare of companies are tweaked into a state of artificially changed state, some are inflated, some deflated, but always towards the claim of raters and analysts. The bottom line set towards an algorithm. Consider these states as we have seen not just the change of Tesco, but the events as they also gave way of downgraded profits with Sainsbury, which was not so vocally seen before that day in September. Interactions on many levels, based upon foundations that no one seems to question. Consider how the expectations were set by ‘analysts’ based upon data given to them and data available to them, now consider how Tesco had a quarter of a billion inflated and how the Pricewaterhouse Cooper auditors were ignorant of the inflated condition, now consider how Analysts used that element in predicting waves, the raters predicted and set the value and they are now setting the anticipation of investors and shareholders, an artificial pool with tidal wave creating capacity, and the two elements that have the ability to set the power and size of the waves. So how is your view of financial morality now? Consider the final part in this story. When we consider a story on Fortune titled ‘Twitter is junk, while Alibaba is class, ratings agencies say‘ (at http://fortune.com/2014/11/14/twitter-is-junk-while-alibaba-is-class-ratings-agencies-say/), why is that? Twitter is still holding its own, is it perhaps that the waves of Alibaba can be more easily influenced? Companies valued at the ability where the waves can be decided by the financial cogs, the stability of Twitter is less interesting to them, so they make way for whoever can aid in creating the waves these financial people want. (The last part you read is all speculation on my side), yet speculation or not, when we see the waves of Libor and Forex, are my thoughts so far out of bounds? How Twitter making millions is downgraded, how Tesco, beyond the inflated profits, still made a billion, it’s downgrade of 90% seems excessive beyond punishment, but Tesco is not a good example (because of their own internal manipulation), Consider the Fortune quote “And the fact that Alibaba is 90% dependent on a home market that is slowing, while acknowledged as a risk, doesn’t seem to scare the agencies“, it does not scare them, or it appeals the dependency of Alibaba to make certain decisions down the line? There is a side that seems ignored by all, I personally still have a hard time believing that (as my calculation went in ‘Price Waterfall Blooper‘ on October 25th) the price for 199 auditors could not find two events of inflation of each well over 100 million. Are my suspicions in regards to manipulations that far-fetched?

I wonder how long it will take for the law to catch up, for the Department of Public Prosecutions (DPP) or Crown Prosecuting Services (CPS) to get a handle on these events and deter these actions to such a degree. There should be additional questions as the raters are all American, in light of their shortfall that approaches 18 trillion at present. It seems that the US has no options, no solution and no resolution strategy, yet we see that the big four give ratings are all American. The last part is not an accusation in any way, yet the fact that the Auditors need new oversight, especially in the light of American auditing firm Pricewaterhouse Cooper as they will face questions regarding Tesco. As the 4 largest auditors include UK and Netherlands, why are there only American raters (of the proportions of the large 4)? With the risk of manipulation, should there not be a British and even a French or a Dutch rating service? Let’s not forget that PwC faces possible investigation, not because they are more likely than not guilty, but because their innocence needs to be proven beyond any doubt, especially in light of the amount of companies audited by them as well as the issue of 199 auditors (as I calculated them) not finding anything. When we consider the length of time that PwC has had Tesco as a customer, yet, these are two separate issues, there is no inkling of suspicion that auditors are part of any manipulation, yet the auditor’s data is essential to such steps.

Where is the solution?

Not sure if I know of one, laws can be made draconian to give much harsher sentence to the transgressors, but the issue is not the transgressors, the issue is that these ‘manipulators’ have by definition of law not broken any rules. Yes, we see the fines of Libor and soon Forex, these transgressions are seemingly clear, but what of the raters and the analysts? The issues of data are at the foundation here. That what is raw data and how it becomes processed data is now at the centre of it all. That what is construed to be the creator of waves through analysts, raters and auditors; Auditors collecting the data, analysts to manipulate (which is what they might see as a simple application of personal preference and weighting) and raters to set the pace for investors and shareholders.

So tell me, how wrong is MY view and why have these influential cogs not been dealt with through legislation?

 

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