Tag Archives: Berlusconi

The Global Economic Switch

There is a shift going on, now this shift is still in the planning stages, but the switch is very real and as we see the crumbling switch from enabler and entrepreneur, the US is moving towards becoming a mere consumer and dependent user. That is a switch some might have seen coming, others have not seen it at all and some are still in denial, claiming it is a short term inconvenient stage. I have no idea which is true, but the events that are a given are showing to be more than a mere short term event and the diplomatic impact will equally show to be a long term impact on what the US had and what it will become. Now there are indicators, but the image is not seen in a single view, so let’s paint this picture for you whilst adding the sources.

Saudi Arabia

The Saudi Arabian announced investment (at https://www.cnbc.com/2018/03/05/saudi-arabia-and-egypt-agree-to-a-10-billion-deal-to-build-a-new-mega-city.html), is actually a lot more than the $10 billion forecasted, because the value as I showed in over the last year is more than becoming a reality, it is now in a planned stage, and planned much larger than I foresaw it going. It starts with “Saudi Arabia and Egypt have agreed to create a $10 billion joint fund to develop a mega-city in Egypt’s southern Sinai Peninsula, with both countries committing more than 1,000 square kilometres (386 square miles) of land to the new project“, you see, depending on the distance from Sharm-El-Sheikh the infrastructure will grow much faster and even as they will rely on what Sharm-El-Sheikh has, the growth of this new Mega-city could be the start of the tech-hub that benefits both Egypt and Saudi Arabia. As the technology hubs grow, so will the economy. It is also the first part to start getting combined 4G/5G preparation in place, because as this technology becomes available Saudi Arabia now has a first advantage in both upgrading its services and that gives optional access to 23-32 million out of a 95 million population. With the tech hubs, both the Sinai one as the half a trillion dollar NEOM, there will be a massive growth in dependency and requirements for technology. There is in addition, the Barcelona World Mobile Congress where on February 26th Huawei announced its full range of end-to-end (E2E) 3GPP-compliant 5G product solutions, now the other players will be following, yet Huawei has an advantage for now. With “The featured products are also the only available options within the industry to provide 5G E2E capabilities” we see that Huawei has chosen a path that allows them to grow and they will not be alone, but for now they are ahead of the crowds, so even as we see now “Huawei partnered with Zain Saudi Arabia, signing a Memorandum of Understanding promising to develop a new network strategy in the Kingdom. The aim of the MoU is to accelerate the realization of 5G networks and assist Zain in building the most advanced end-to-end networks in the region. The two companies will work together to accelerate the deployment of 4.5 to 5G networks, make further advances towards full cloudification, and produce additional strategy and planning in the field of ICT Synergy Cloud” (at https://www.arabtimesonline.com/news/huawei-outlines-vision-5g-future-co-unveils-latest-innovative-products-solutions-mwc/) merely a day ago. I gave that indication almost two weeks earlier, so how is that for a prediction. So even as the US is setting the bar at “Chicago, Los Angeles, Dallas, Atlanta, Washington, DC and Houston” to be the first with 5G at the end of the year, what happens when you need to reach out to Wall Street and Manhattan? Will that be merely 4G, or will you suddenly experience other issues (between providers, reception issues and so on; oh, and as you go from protocol to protocol switching per cell tower on the move, watch that battery power drain as the battery percentage goes down like a timer in seconds 75, 74, 73, 72, 71 and so on. Please do not take my word on this, it is much better when your own eyes see the battery counter go down, it adds to the dramatic effect when you hear me howl with laughter (stating: ‘I told you so’). So even as the article ended with “Ken Hu, Huawei Rotating CEO, said: “The intelligent world is drawing near, filled with potential and possibilities. Ground-breaking technologies like 5G and IoT promise to solve complex business challenges and improve the lives of the population. Yet challenges remain on our path before these dreams are realized. MWC 2018 was an excellent opportunity for us to meet with other leading companies and discuss how together we can overcome these obstacles, achieve sustainable business growth, and Build a Better Connected World.”“, I will admit that I have an issue with that part, you see with ‘IoT promise to solve complex business challenges‘, we see the implied solution, but the IoT (Internet of Things) is merely the applied hype word in a solution that has not been designed yet. It is true that the application of IoT is a solution in itself towards a whole shoal of options and challenges, but as we consider that the 4G smartphone brings solutions, it requires the apps to be there and solve actual settings and that takes time, like all other needs. In that regard I see the IoT as the old sales technique of selling a concept before the product exists and I always thought that to be a broken non resolving approach to the greedy salespeople coming with a ‘pay it forward’ solution that is paid for before the product has been completed. It is a dodgy need, because in the end the (business) consumer needs and actual product to work with. Yet that might just be me imagining things.

United States of America

The view here starts with the Financial Times, who brought us ‘Currency markets send a warning on the US economy‘ (at https://www.ft.com/content/de57a6a2-1e32-11e8-a748-5da7d696ccab). So even as this is about the financial markets, there are a few points to take away from that. First there is “The pattern of higher interest rates and a weakening currency suggests that on multiple dimensions US assets now have to be put on sale to convince foreigners to hold them or induce Americans not to diversify into overseas assets. This pattern is relatively uncommon in the US though it happened in the Carter administration before Paul Volcker’s appointment as chair of the Federal Reserve and in the Clinton administration before Treasury secretary Robert Rubin’s invocation of the “strong dollar” policy. It is fairly ubiquitous in emerging markets where it reflects anxiety over a country’s policy framework“. The dangerous part here is ‘convince foreigners to hold them or induce Americans not to diversify into overseas assets’; you see it is a move of limitation, either the non-American buyer holds onto the for a much longer time, which needs convincing (usually with higher yields), as well as stopping Americans to go overseas into other markets, so it is not actually an ‘or’ situation, it is actually an ‘and’ setting where the inclusion needs to be both to remove doubt and volatility. The article ends with “The confidence of global markets is much easier to maintain than to regain. Currency markets are sending a signal that the US is not on a healthy path. Its time for the US to strengthen the strong fundamentals on which a strong dollar and healthy economy depends“, you see that view is set not merely in the war of tariffs, it is set where the global markets have been seeing a decline in US activity and more important acts that show that the US economy is feeble and the US infrastructure is not in strength, it is merely getting by and that is a dangerous place to be in. Even as I predicted that the inactions and the inability to act against Russia will be felt when Russia calls the bluff of America, it is now showing that the US on a larger scale is showing to be set towards a series of hurdles that will stagnate its economy and over the long haul (within two years) will show the danger of another recession, so when that happens and projects get halted, how will Sprint and other players pay for 5G? Entrepreneurial innovation tends to demand buckets of cash, cash that is not available, certainly not readily. Protectionism is merely the first hurdle and one of at least three in the setting of the tariff war. The Financial times gave the people the biggest fear and doubt on February 21st with “US ‘too big to fail’ regime set for Trump overhaul“, that ‘too big to fail‘ has been used before and a whole bunch of billionaire grapes got bitten rather badly in Europe. It is not merely the Chapter 14 implementation with the by-line ‘to shield the tax payers’, it is the text “Both Wall Street and overseas regulators have warned the administration over the dangers of dismantling the system but the Treasury said it wanted to narrow its use so it could serve only as a last resort“, the fact that ‘narrow’ and ‘Wall Street’ imply that the Chapter 14 will lack the teeth it needs and as such it is another parachute for the 1% bankers, banks and those making upwards of $253 million a year. So how much will this marker cost the tax payers in the end? Even as there is an abundance of recession fear articles and announcements by the media at large, that part even as it is likely to happen, it is not certain to happen and that fear needs to be removed (by other means than the Chapter 14 messages). You see, the problem is that the 1% has enough wealth to survive the next two recessions, whilst the quality of life of the other 99% has not been pushing forward towards the level it needed to be. So they will get hurt really bad if another recession happens within the next 16 months, which is close to all speculated views by the media at large. Whilst that is not much of an indication, the events in Saudi Arabia is only one element, the other elements is the one we will see next

Other players

There is more than one player in all this. The first is seen by CNBC (at https://www.cnbc.com/2018/03/05/saudi-russia-oil-deal-leads-to-bigger-russia-role-in-middle-east.html), where we are treated to “The partnership with OPEC, led by Saudi Arabia, allows Russia to strengthen its hand in the Middle East at the same time the U.S. role has been diminished“, the diminishing of the US as stated by other sources closes doors to the US on several shores, a dangerous change that comes at one of the least fortunate times. The quote “it is now the foundation for a broader relationship that has the potential to reduce already waning U.S. influence in the Middle East” is foremost set to the chilling friendships with Syria and Iran, it is not merely there. Turkey has been out of control for the longest of times and now that Turkey is smelling blood, it is trying to get much more out of the US, making them a very expensive ‘friend’, more so, the question becomes was Turkey ever a friend? In that whatever bites there could hinder the US with its access to the Middle East at large. Should Incirlik and Izmir become an issue, the economic print of the US would drastically change, because that would require the US to find a way to grow the option to get a base in Saudi Arabia and optionally in Israel. Whilst neither is a given, the costs of that will be staggering and the economic footprint of the US will equally become an issue down the road. Even if there would be an option to get one in Western India (who would like that economic windfall in their region), it would be a drastic fund pressuring move for the US.
Another option would be in Egypt and if that becomes an option it would in the longer term benefit both Egypt and Saudi Arabia, whilst Egypt gets to grow its stability in the Sinai, the US would become a much larger target in Egypt, wherever its base would be placed. So that too would come at a cost for the US in a time it needs to turn over every dollar it spends. Another is Jordan, but there is no way to tell the impact, the costs and the options in that regard as I have no clear information or sources to give at this time. You see, the memorandum of understanding was signed with Jordan with Rex Tillerson a mere 3 weeks ago, so adding a conversation of adding a US base there might not be the one that would work (pure speculation from my side). In addition, the EU News (and others) who gave us “Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström added: “These US measures will have a negative impact on transatlantic relations and on global markets. In addition, they will raise costs and reduce choice for US consumers of steel and aluminium, including industries that import these commodities”” gives rise that there is a cooling of ‘friendliness’ between the EU nations and the US to some degree, so there is that impact as well. I am not talking about the tariff, I am talking to the diplomatic language where Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte gave us “Relations with the United States can no longer be taken for granted“, which is not a good thing as the Dutch port of Rotterdam is the gateway to Germany and its industrial heart, in addition the US pressures on France regarding the Iran nuclear deal could impact the two, but that is not a given, even better, it is unlikely to be an issue, which is a plus point, for the US for now as the Italian elections are over and the anti-EU parties made a massive gain (from 4% to 18%, whilst they surpassed the Berlusconi party) is still an issue in play. I agree with the Guardian that stated that the EU-issue is not in play, but as we see (at https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/mar/03/italian-elections-european-union-populism), the need for Berlusconi was the man to save them from populism has now become a non-reality, the impact will grow and in that matter the US would need to play nice, very nice with Italy. You see there was always going to be an issue with Matteo Salvini, yet the fact that they became the largest party with 37% was unforeseen. There is no issue with iExit as the Italian version of Brexit is called, but its anti-immigration policies will give headaches for many EU nations and as the impact of US-EU nations is cooling, becoming an enabler for Italy might be the wiser of solution for the US. The BBC (at http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-43294041) gives much more, but the power is at the end with “Voter frustration here in Italy but evident and ongoing in Germany too surely shows it’s time for Brussels to sit up and really pay attention“, the shown fact that Brussels have not been doing that is the anchor around the neck for the EU and that will impact the US numbers as well. Even as Germany was the biggest friend of the US in the EU, the tariff and, the EU army and the need by America for Germany to play a larger role in the EU borders (taking some pressures from the US) are all elements that put more and more pressures on the US, even as some of the needs by the US are very valid, we need to realise that Newsweek gave us “Germany’s top diplomat has told foreign policy experts that his country’s relationship with the U.S. has suffered irreparable damage under the administration of President Donald Trump“, even as the damage began in the previous administration (to a small extent), the chosen path by the Trump administration has been adding negativity to it all. Syria must be seen as the largest of catalysts in that regard, it is merely my sense of humour that the Germans see the forced ‘friendship‘ with the French as a larger issue than the actual absence of the US in all that, but that is just my take on humour.

All these elements are part of the economic switch in all this, in support of this, there are sources that show that Saudi Arabia wants to grow its arms industry and as SAMI (Saudi Arabian Military Industries) is sitting down with the Russian who are eager to accommodate, I need to wonder why the hell Raytheon and Northrop Grumman were asleep at the wheel, or decided to remain vacant from that setting. So even as Remington (American outdoor Brands) has a product of sheer excellence, they are now not at the middle Eastern table, but in a novel mentioned in Chapter 11 and seeking a quick sale, perhaps someone can tell me how much could have been gained at the Riyadh SAMI conference table? So even as we read (at http://www.business-standard.com/article/international/saudi-arabia-wants-to-make-their-own-weapons-russia-eager-to-help-118030300622_1.html) that “likely to alarm American policy makers, who worry about losing ground to Russia and China in the Middle East“, where we see that this is understated to the largest degree. With “They’re already planning to buy the Russian S-400 air-defense system, under a deal that would let them manufacture related products at home” as well as “Half of Saudi procurement is supposed to be done locally by 2030, from about 2 per cent today” we see the extent of the market lost for both Raytheon and Northrop Grumman as two of the largest players in that field. Someone (more than one player) was asleep at the helm and by playing the card of exclusivity the ended up playing the card of exclusion, which takes them out of the game as such and that is the issue in this, because as far as I see it we have not seen such a large shift of plays optionally towards Russia and away from the US since before WW2, perhaps it might be more correct that this has never happened to this degree in history, that too is a factor that must be considered; so, suddenly the extended play changes. I mentioned part of this on Feb 24th (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2018/02/24/losing-values-towards-insanity/) in ‘Losing values towards insanity‘, yet I only had some unconfirmed parts and no idea why I had some parts, I had these parts a week ago, yet all these parts came to me over the last 24 hours with 1-2 exceptions, now we see a shifted picture. When we consider LLC Megaline (as well as Concord Management and Consulting) where Yevgeniy Prigozhin and Dmitry Utkin allegedly have been preparing to grow an ICT/Mobile infrastructure in Syria, that whilst construction fortunes would be coming their way too, the entire growth with Saudi Arabia as an optional side allows those two to split a few billions between the two of them, whilst at the same time growing the other fields they have access to and get a seat at the Saudi Arabian table at the same time. A side I never saw as I did not have the information I have read over the last 24 hours. To get any additional part in that play could set me up for life within 3 years, to get a 400% better lifestyle in 36 months than the 36 years of hard work allowed me to get is what would get any person to change their pupils to dollar signs and that is merely in their need for ICT, Data farms, Mobile facilitation, Data systems, forecasting, reporting and logistical infrastructures. In all this we see the clear evidence as given by several players that is now on route in a place where the US has a setting that is diminishing, so as those currencies go elsewhere, do you think it will not impact the US economy. That is apart from the greedy pharmaceuticals that are now pushing on India for the longest time. It is an additional place where non-US players will have options to gain market share. All that because certain players in the patent field were enablers towards the few greedy US pharmaceuticals as they increasingly ‘demanded‘ more and more outside of the patent scope that was once given (the attempted Trans Pacific Partnership was clear evidence of that), now we see hat impact and the US is at the axis of an economic switch where someone else will soon decide whether that switch will be switched on or off, no longer as the setting where the US sets the status, which is something the US has not faced before ever as far as I can tell, even the 2004 and 2008 events did not remove that option from them, but that is now a reality from sources like Bloomberg, Reuters, the Financial Times, CNBC, BBC and other players are setting the view that we are getting now. Even as none as saying it outright, the news as given provides a speculated picture where that may become a reality. I do believe that it could be prevented to some extent, but at the current course of the US ‘Kingmakers’ and ‘Wall Street regents’, that reality is slowly being removed from the US table of decision makers and once that reality hits, when they have to report that the Switch is set to ‘OFF‘, the impact will hit pretty much every market where the US is policy maker.

A world where the US player involved goes from being exclusive to excluded!

I wonder how the media will then cover it and who will they blame, because they will always be about laying the blame.

 

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Vindication

Today is turning out to be a nice day after all. I have made mention on more than one occasion that I am not an economist, I am an analyst and for some time now, the numbers have not been adding up. Certain action had been taken and they never made sense. The issue I had is that because the press seemed not to dig into this gave a decent amount of persuasion that I might have been wrong, which would have been fair enough, yet I know data, I lived data for decades and the numbers just did not add up.

Yesterday I saw a first glimpse, and today there is now a clear indication that I had been right all along. Goldman Sachs had been a part of a lot more than many can fathom. So whilst Cuppa Joe and the press at large has all been about the ‘naughty’ intelligence branch, they all ignored the trap behind it and let the banks do whatever they damn well liked.

One step back

The first inkling was Goldman Sachs directly in my blog ‘Banks, eunuchs of a new congregation‘ of February 7th 2013, more than 1.5 years ago! In there I gave this quote: “It is almost that there is a voice whispering in the ear of Dutch Finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem. The whispers seem to be about the Bad Bank and the whispers could involve Goldman Sachs” and “This thought was also mentioned by Rolfe Winkler at the New York Daily News. How is it even possible that a company that seems to have been one of the major reasons for the financial meltdown be regarded, or even ALLOWED to make any continued presence?“, this would get followed by my blog ‘The Italian menace?‘ on February 10th, 3 days later. “Berlusconi, who said he won’t seek the executive position but rather prefers to become Finance Minister, has seduced the masses saying he will repeal a property tax imposed by Monti, returning about €4 billion“. These elements are all in league with one massive step. As these members are directly linked to Goldman Sachs. Not just Berlusconi, it is also Mario Monti who has direct links to Goldman Sachs (at http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/analysis-and-features/what-price-the-new-democracy-goldman-sachs-conquers-europe-6264091.html). The independent article shows even more, steps that I had not looked at (for various reasons). Yet, overall Goldman Sachs has been keeping their fingers in all these pies.

In the near past

As we look at the events in the near past I wrote ‘Two deadly sins‘. It was November 27th 2013. There we see the following quote “After the issues we had seen in the last 3 years, I started to doubt the correctness of the Dow (and I reported on that in past blogs). It goes up and up, but with JP Morgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, VISA, American Express putting pressures on those numbers, the three big boys (drugs) could rock the boat in a massive way, which scares Wall Street to no extent. Greed and Treason, it is all connected and it hits us all critically hard sooner rather than later!” I had no idea that I was so much closer to it all then I thought. That part has just been made clear!

Now

The Huffington post (at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/28/elizabeth-warren-new-york-fed_n_5896778.html), has just release this article stating that “Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) are both calling for Congress to investigate the New York Federal Reserve Bank after recently released secret recordings show the central bank allegedly going light on firms it was supposed to regulate“, but there is more, like a bad infomercial from TV we see the added flavours that would silence Dante Alighieri and reduce Niccolo Machiavelli to a mere checkers player when we consider the additional quote “Segarra says that she was fired from her job in 2012 for refusing to overlook Goldman’s lack of a conflict of interest policy and other questionable practices that should have brought tougher regulatory scrutiny“. So, this was NOT just the banks, this seems to imply that the US government themselves have been linked to the massive degrees of freedom that Goldman Sachs has been enjoying. So that leaves us with the thought that the EEC is not enjoying any freedoms at all, it is enjoying the allowance to decide on how much they all are in debt to Goldman Sachs and whatever is behind them. Because, a choice of one is not a choice, it is a directive and now we see the amount of people that have been involved in orchestrating all this.

I wonder if the mentioned 48 hours of taped conversations will ever make it into the daylight, chances are that this will get locked up real fast. As the American people were so smitten with a joke called Snowden, they all got played into the side where the banks were given freedom of movement through all this and the press at large did NOTHING to truly look into the dangers their populations faced, it is the ultimate Machiavellian play.

I particularly liked this quote “In one instance, she said she alerted a colleague that a senior compliance officer at Goldman had said that the bank’s view was that “once clients became wealthy enough, certain consumer laws didn’t apply to them.” Segarra claims that her New York Fed colleagues asked her to ignore the remark and change meeting minutes she had taken, which contained evidence of what the Goldman executive said“, which basically means that the rich do not just get a free play in the game, they remain unaccountable beyond a certain point. Did we who will never be rich sign up for that? I have no issue with people becoming rich, providing it is through non-criminal ways, yet the fact that this also implies non-accountability to the law is an entirely different matter. If you think that this is not an issue, then wonder what a firm like Microsoft is getting away with or Goldman Sachs for that matter. It is easy to remain unaccountable when the lawmakers are in your pockets.

Recently

Now this all links to another party, who only recently got visible thanks to a ‘dubious’ ideologist as he exposed the Swedish left winged system. I am talking about Natixis! Its assets exceeds well over half a trillion dollars, not bad for a French bank! Why are they here? You see, I always saw that there was more to Goldman Sachs, yet as my stories were never explicitly about Goldman Sachs, but about events that involved them, Goldman Sachs was clearly on my radar. Natixis until the Swedish election was not, nor needed it to be. Yet when we look at their Portfolio of Investments – as of December 31, 2013, we see that they are linked to the bulk of large corporations and their financial needs. They also have a nice little chunk of Goldman Sachs. Now we have a race, because together they hold over 1.5 trillion in assets. Are we all awake now?

Two corporations with the power to shift, change and pressure government oversight in America and pretty much the entire European Economic Community, is more than just a nuisance. Remember how Goldman Sachs promised (read threatened) to transfer a substantial part of their European business from London to a Eurozone location – the most obvious contenders being Paris and Frankfurt. It was a statement by Michael Sherwood, co-chief executive of Goldman Sachs International (at http://www.theguardian.com/business/2013/dec/04/goldman-sachs-warns-london-exit-britain-eu), at this point we get to wonder whether it was a business decision, or whether it was a phone call from a person with direct access to the ear of the President of the United States (yes the last part is an assumption on my side, but is it such a wild one?), if any of this is ever confirmed, I reckon that this is the one straw that breaks parliaments back and results in a shift of power to Ukip so fast it will make all the heads in Whitehall spin.

This is just the parts I got a hold on, I feel certain that a REAL investigative journalist (if one still exists) would have been able to find a lot more, yet nothing has made the papers in this regards for close to two years. You should really start to ask the question why!

Because, when we see the press entrap MP’s with fake profiles, whilst ignoring these levels of power, then the press has failed on so many levels it is not even funny anymore.

Tomorrow

Today is the start to plan for the questions that many should be asking government and the press tomorrow, the press because they seem to be asleep at the wheel, asleep that two companies have so much power that they can set the entire political tone. Freedom has never been about this. Freedom lost, because of what I regard to be cowardly (and possibly greed driven) politicians who are enabling a group to be flaccid economists to empower wealth and greed and condemn us to consumer based slavery until our numbers are no longer balanced as profitable.

How can we ever attain a better life, or in regards to the links that I recently discovered any form of a healthy life at all? Will be see vindication, but who in the end gets vindicated is an entirely different discussion.

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The ugly unspoken truth

It is nice to get your thoughts confirmed. So, my ego was taking a nice leap forward when I saw how ministers all over Europe agree with my views on blogs I had written in the last few months. Foreign ministers Margallo from Spain and Westerwelle from Germany as well as French Minister Moscovici from France voiced pretty much literally the issues I had on several finance issues plaguing debt driven Europe. The Italian election is not as much a solution as it has now become an issue of less trust and security then before the elections.

So, it is nice that they agree however, the issue I have is that the Italian population seems to ignore that THEIR predicament comes from massive irresponsible spending. The other part is that Germany, when needed did tighten the belt and therefore they are now in such a strong state. Other nations are still fighting with issue they have (like the Netherlands). This is not because they are not doing anything, but because, from my humble opinion, they started too late, and as such they are now in this ‘mess’. They still have more issues to come. As they reflected that 2014 would bring a 1.1% increase, my thoughts are nowhere near that optimistic. I cannot vow on the issue that they are wrong, yet, over positive thinking is a hampering Anvil for them. I would think that if they could pull of a 0.3% positive growth in 2014, then that might be nothing less than a decent miracle.

Whether they get this through ‘clever’ bookkeeping is to be seen. Even in the most optimistic events. This means that the Trade ministry would need to get their International options like in Qatar and Bahrain. This would definitely help towards the 0.3% growth but not the 1.1%. In addition, the issues currently plaguing the gas winnings in the state of Groningen could hamper income for the Dutch government. They reported over 11 billion euro revenue from gas. However, as areas in Groningen were disturbed by Quake’s that seem to grow in intensity due to the method of extracting, could have two effects. First it is not inconceivable that revenue from Gas might fall below 10 billion, as well as the fact that damages from these quakes mean that payments well into the millions would be added as costs. In addition, there have been newscasts that current events are NOT events the current industry buildings are protected against, so not limiting gas extractions could have far fetching consequences. Not just to the revenue, but also to an area with culture and architecture that is quite unique to that nation.

The final straw is the involvement of the RABO bank in the LIBOR scandal. They have been given a penitent company donation of 330 million Euro. Even though they are not state owned like the SNS, there will be consequences. The first one would be whether Moody will adjust the bank even further. It was downgraded in June 2012 from AAA to AA2. Will the fine as well as the implication of lessened revenue and profit (as resulted from the LIBOR effect) mean this bank is downgraded even further? That part I do not, and do not claim to know, but it stands to reason that additional drops in government donations (read paid taxes) will dwindle a little. All these facts mean that the target of 3% budget deficit is not likely to be achievable. This links of course to the issues in Italy. As they miss their targets we are now with 2 players who become a question mark and Italy being number 3 on the ranking list of Europe, THAT impact will be a prominent one.

This European cart which is in definition pulled by the current two champion stags (France and Germany) will only slow them down too, meaning that a strong European economy (or at least less debt driven) is not likely to become a reality before 2016. If I had any faith in my predictions (remember, I am not an economist), then I would speculate that 2014 will be Europe’s hardest year. Not because of the economy as it gets through 2013, but because the drag from 2011 through to 2014 will have exhausted both people and companies to the brink of collapse (of financial exhaustion). For those thinking that I am so far of the mark, consider the greying population and the issues they are already in a group that cannot make ends meet in January 2013. The issue here is that this is not limited to places like the Netherlands and Spain. A fear of clear shortage is also hitting France, Italy and Germany. It will be hit on both sides of the equation. On one side, there is a clear danger that less money can be paid towards pensioners and stronger on the other side is the ever increasing cost of living. Whether it is because of food, Electricity and/or gas/fuel prices. Retiring before 2018 does not seem to be a healthy option, and NO guarantees are forthcoming any day soon.

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The Italian menace?

The Italian menace?

Just when you thought it was safe to think of any kind of future again, the abyss opens up right in front of you and your savings are again in danger.

The first topic of discussion as presented by the Dutch NOS was of course the European budgets. To a budget of 960 billion, the Dutch contribute 6 billion and they got a one billion dollar discount. Yes, this seems to be the Marks and Spencers approach to budgeting. Now, they seem to be happy, and I am not sure how to feel. It does however give a clear picture that the Dutch, always visible as a high player, are anything but that big. When you are profiles as a larger player and their contribution is less than a tenth of 1 per cent, that it means that they are not that big a player at all (or so it seems).
So, the Dutch politicians are going home with a satisfied feeling until the end of the decade. So how is this impacting? It is what followed that could become the real worry. It is a newscast of the return of Mr Berlusconi. Yes! He is returning to Italian politics with elections less than 3 weeks away. Does he have a chance? Not sure and not really my worry to be honest.

What is interesting is how he pulls people in with his dreams of giving back the real estate taxation of 2012. So, if that is done then Italy would be withdrawing from their promise to get their budget and deficit under control. If that happens, then what is next for Europe?
The bigger issue is that this might be a clear indication that Goldman Sachs is back and actively trying to meet their share in the Game of Greed.
They seem to be a clear controlling and influential party with most European governments. Forbes already reported this as a ‘danger’. They did mention the Monte dei Paschi banking scandal as part of their news cast as well. They also remained soft in their ideas of nations no longer being governable. I am less subtle. From my viewpoint I am willing to contemplate the opinion that the European governments are about to become the bank’s bitches with Goldman Sachs leading them the way to population enslavement. I agree, the thought is a little strong!

You see, there is method to my madness, or my madness is methodical (either way works). So, let us take a look at how I got to that conclusion.

In the Dutch newscast on this, as well as in Forbes and as well as mentioned in other sources “Berlusconi, who said he won’t seek the executive position but rather prefers to become Finance Minister, has seduced the masses saying he will repeal a property tax imposed by Monti, returning about €4 billion ($5.4 billion) to the people by refunding taxpayers’ 2012 payments” so with all the shortages, they add to the non-debt resolving side. We can debate whether it is the right or the wrong thing to do. In my view it is an Italian choice and it is their right to choose. Whether right or wrong, it is however interesting that Berlusconi seeks the Finance Ministers position. With him being a connection to Goldman Sachs as a (former) international advisor? It also means that the Italian deficit will be upped by another 5.4 billion dollars. This implies that Italy is less interested in getting their deficit down.

My issue is that according to the numbers Goldman Sachs is one of the banks retaining their gains these last years. I have nothing against that as I do have a capitalistic side. There is however a realistic side to profit, and many greed driven organisations seem to remain very unrealistic. With the ties he had/has, and the rules of the game so unaltered. I worry about what will happen to the Italian debt during the next government term.

Here is the link between this all. This was discussed by the Independent. “What price the new democracy? Goldman Sachs conquers Europe”. In there they made the following statement: “Instead what you have in Europe is a shared world-view among the policy elite and the bankers, a shared set of goals and mutual reinforcement of illusions.” (Nov 18th 2011). I could not have said it any better.

Now we get to the juicy part. Should Berlusconi get elected, and then we will suddenly read on how certain realignments of bad banks will be needed? There will be a change, and of course Goldman Sachs will get their share. It is all nice and legal. No matter how they react, whether Europe breaks apart, whether the costs will once again be set into other places. We are looking at an additional total debt increase of half a trillion dollars (across the EEC) and Goldman Sachs will get their share. So why are the European legislations not dealing with this clearly visible weak flaw?

Now, here is where I get to go on thin ice. The conspiracy theorist in me might think that this is what the power players from the US had in mind from the beginning. From their point of view governments are obsolete! Especially when these governments are getting in the way of highly desired profits, commissions and personal wealth goals.

Politicians seem to get pushed into an ego trip (in some cases they are simply with their backs against a wall). They do not cover their budgets and get the back of these strong players to get visibility and media to do the things that should be investigated and questioned on many levels. The Dutch SNS was a clear example. However other banks and acting parties should not be forgotten. The ABN/Amro Bank was one of these banks that required nationalisation. They are linked in all this with connections to the Royal Bank of Scotland (who was having a nice go at acquiring ABN/AMRO). And again here comes Goldman Sachs around the corner, having a nice juicy finger in all of these matters. They were in an investigation regarding Collateralized Debt Obligation (CDO) traders. They were not guilty, as some people forgot to disclose certain matters. However, the LA Times reported this on October 12th 2010: “Hedge fund operator John Paulson a key player in SEC case against Goldman Sachs. His firm made $15 billion in 2007 by betting that Americans would default on their home loans in droves.” From my point of view, that is not all they betted against.

Why am I so against Goldman Sachs? The issue is not Goldman Sachs; they are not breaking any law. It is the politicians that walk away with golden futures, creating bad banks and leaving the population to work of the debt through taxation, a population left with forever less and less. Soon this can no longer remain affordable and Italy seems likely the next one moving into this direction. This is where banks and large corporations become in charge and we get to work past retirement ages to fill the need of their greed. This is a need that is eternal and will never be satisfied. If you doubt me, then look at the list of nations that was able to keep their budget. It seems that only Belgium made their budget, and that might only have been because they were without a parliament racking up cost for the most of 2011. They even celebrated their new parliament after a record 541 days without a parliament on December 11th 2011. So that would definitely helped in keeping the cost down.

So back to the headline I started with “The Italian menace?”
Is it Silvio Berlusconi the menace? Possibly! If he continues on a path that does not stop the rising debts.
Is Italy the menace? Possibly! If they do not get a handle on their debts. In this case I mean a solution where they pay for their massive overspending from more than the last decade, mostly under Silvio Berlusconi.
Will the Italian menace end the EEC? Likely! If debts keep on rising, and as insurmountable debts are taken as write off’s against retirement funds and national treasuries. It is not impossible that Italy becomes the straw that breaks the camel’s back. Should you consider that this could never happen, then think again. The same was said about the SNS bank and that puppy is now a nationalised one (but it seems that for now it is not house broken).

This has happened again and again. This is not just about the banks. Politicians are also to blame. For that I would like to mention papers like “Investing in Greece: an Olympic opportunity”. It came from Costas Bakouris in 2001. The thoughts were all fair enough. However, how much came to happen? How much money did come in?

Most facts point towards the information that the Olympics cost double from what was budgeted and out of the amount approaching 10 billion a lot less then budgeted came in.
There was the article called “Business and investment prospects strong after Olympic Games triumph” Which was released after the games of 2004. In December 2004, through the newspaper USA Today. It was published in December 2004. The interesting part of the second story is that there was no name attached to it. So what was THAT source?

Even though the Olympics are a unique event, the financial consequences are real and high. Yet, there were no visible budget cuts and massive cuts were required. But wait, here is super hero/villain Goldman Sachs to help with the presentation of it all.

The Olympics were the most visible, but not the only one. This is what Felix Salmon wrote for Reuters on February 9th 2010 (exactly 2 years ago). “It’s a bit depressing that EU member states are behaving in this silly way, refusing to come clean on their real finances. But so long as they’re providing the demand for clever capital-markets operations like these, you can be sure that the investment bankers at Goldman and many other investment banks will be lining up to show them ways of hiding reality from Eurostat in Luxembourg.

In that time, banks wrote cheques for investment events no one could cover. This is clearly shown in the case of the Dutch SNS. And the fun does not stop here. The article “ABN Amro hiring spree targets Asian private wealth” 29 January, 2013 Written by Elliott Holley shows that they are hiring again, with at least 1 person from Goldman Sachs. It is interesting how this small circle gets to go everywhere.

Goldman Sachs does not seem to have broken any laws. Politicians all over Europe seem to have changed very little, and they seem to all extremely willing to get into bed with Goldman Sachs, their ‘golden’ solution. National politics does not seem to regulate banks to the degree that is needed and some governments do not seem to properly regulate themselves either.

When we look at the 2011 EEC numbers we see the following: the largest government deficits in percentage of GDP were recorded in Ireland (-13.1%), Greece (-9.1%), Spain (-8.5%), the United Kingdom (-8.3%). Whilst the Government debt kept on going up and was set at 10 421 987 million Euro, which boils down to 82.5 (% of GDP). (Source: Eurostat News release 62/2012 – 23 April 2012)
They also show that Even though the GDP was set to become negatively in 2012, it had been forecast slightly positive in 2013. There is no proof of that, and whatever taxation was acquired in 2012, Berlusconi wants to hand that back to the people. Consider these numbers. Now add three facts to this equation.

1. The LIBOR scandal (see previous blog) shows how within the UK the percentages had been tweaked. This means that the percentages were incorrect. Now consider that the LIBOR is based on 4 times the planets GDP (adding up to 300 trillion $ as mentioned in several articles).

2. The GDP is the market value of all the final goods and services produced within in a country in a given time period. We have seen how people are without work. Economies are shrinking and services are lost to families all over the EEC. So how does that number keep on going up?

3. The European Economic Forecast, Economic and Financial Affairs (Spring 2012) document shows a picture again way too optimistic. In several nations it seemed to predict that 2013 was a year when things would be turning up. There is NO sign that this is happening. The belts are tightening in nearly all European nations. In addition, when we consider the SNS Property moving into Bad banks, we see that the current need for business property is diminishing due to lack of revenues. From my point of view it implies that the mentioned government debt at 82.5% of GDP (2011) could be as high as 90% of GDP. If that is true, then the overall percentages will hit all harder as the interest rates for government debts should be higher, and their credit ratings might be lower as a consequence.

Now consider that should the debt grow and their rating goes one level down, then that nation might have to pay a percentage on their debt. With governments owning hundreds of billions, an example means that a debt of $300B, if the interest is only 1% that would come down to an annual payment of 3,000 million, just to keep it stable. That means every person pays between 50 and 300 dollars to pay the interest. EVERY PERSON! Now consider that this is not a real problem for most people, however Consider that in Spain 24% has no job, that means that this amount will be paid by 75% of the population with income, so they pay more now. Then consider that the debt needs to go away.

We cannot trust banks as LIBOR shows. The EEC papers show them to think of them in a better state then they are, and the presented numbers are debatable. And as shown from several sources Goldman Sachs is connected to nearly every stage, somehow in some non-criminal way.

So two years later (after the claim by Felix Salmon), where are we now and what bad news is yet to come?

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