Tag Archives: Bill Gates

As the party ended

Consider a firm, it has 1.4 million employees and 4672 stores in the US. So basically this employer is employing 0.43% of the entire population that makes it an extremely large player. Now, I have been critical of this player in the past on several occasions. A player this big tends to maximise profit at the expense of whatever gets in the way. It is for all extent and purpose, the American way. So what happens when places do not make the cut? What happens when the plug is pulled? Don’t get me wrong, I will not oppose the right of this player to do that, pulling the plug is a business decision, and for the most a valid one. So when I read: ‘What happened when Walmart left‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jul/09/what-happened-when-walmart-left), we need to ask several questions. The quote “But for the people of McDowell County – proud country folk labouring under the burdens of high unemployment, low income and endemic ill health – even such a fleeting visit to this rural backwater by the world’s largest retailer had a profound impact. Both in the arrival, and in the hasty leaving“, as well as ““All Walmart was interested in was how many millions of dollars they made, they weren’t interested in helping the community,” says McDowell County commissioner Gordon Lambert. “When they didn’t make the profit they wanted, they left.”” Here we see corporate America in action, yet in all this, should we blame Walmart? Personally I say ‘No!’, you see, this is not about what is right, it is what is correct and legal and the US government allowed and pushed for this path for the longest of times. It legally does not matter how rich the owners are, even as I have objected to the level of exploitation, my objection were based on social correctness, legally nothing wrong was done. You see, the first step to blame, if blaming is the proper word would be Terry McAuliffe, Governor of Virginia, Terence Richard McAuliffe is an American Democrat, politician and former businessman. As for the other areas, we have Joe Manchin (D) and Shelley Moore Capito (R) in the Senate, as well as Evan Jenkins (R), David McKinley (R) and Alex Mooney (R) in the House of Representatives. The question is what did they do? What options did they have for those suddenly out of work? You might think that they have nothing to do with this, yet when ONE employer has given 0.43% of the entire population a job, closing 154 stores in 2016-2017, that implies that thousands of jobs are lost, not all of them with the option to be retrenched, so at that point the House of Representatives would have needed to take a long hard look at the alternatives in stopping the creation of ghost towns and derelict business properties. We might not consider the impact or the legality, yet what would have been possible to limit the damage to some extent? There might have been a few options, yet in that certain legalities should be changing in that regard and as such the political side in all this, seems to have been largely too quiet.

The article by Ed Pilkington in McDowell County, West Virginia shows the devastating impact. Some might find it a little too emotional, yet what other side is there? If the political side remains absent, what stories of opportunity are possible? Another quote is ““The Walton family are billionaires,” she said (also no exaggeration – their collective worth is put at about $150bn). “They developed a system that just made us worse off, and then they took even that away from us.”” is not invalid, yet that shows that there is a clear political failure. We can argue the legislative side, yet as the laws are not broken, the US political branch has a clear requirement so alter certain views. It is an essential change towards any employer that has such a powerful grasp on any geographical infrastructure as the one that a player like Walmart has. We see the news on a nearly daily basis that there is a pressing need for Gag orders on search warrants, yet there is no protection on the risk of thousands of people becoming homeless. As given, there is a growing concern that the US is moving towards a phase where the ‘rights to life‘ is being removed from people. I discussed part of this in ‘Confirmation on Arrival‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2017/07/04/confirmation-on-arrival/), in this “We went from governments, to organisations, we left fair opportunity behind and moved to ‘those who have and those who have not‘, and they are soon to be replaced for the ‘enablers and obstructers‘ and those who are the latter would fall into the shadows and face away.“, when we look at West Virginia, the bulk of these people went from enablers (or those who had), into those who don’t have any longer and are seen as ‘obstructers’ of profit requirements, and now? It seems that the political branch is failing these people as are the better part of the administrative side where those without a job and options fall. The issue is that under the minimalized options that Walmart was allowed to ‘hide’ behind, we see thousands of people who had no option to build any reserves, so as such their plight is even more drastic and diminishing increasingly so.

Yet, is that at present a political issue?

I think it should be, as the administrations catered to the need of maximised profit and took away levels of rational accountability, the large players could walk away. So should Walmart not be allowed to walk away? No, that would be equally wrong, yet for any company to have such a large stake in any location to this extent, means that the political players should have played for a different scenario, where the leaving party would be required to give extended severance packages for a much longer time. In addition, an alternative would be that the county would in fact confiscate all equipment from those local Walmart stores, allowing for the start-up of butchers, grocers and other shops. Small community shops that would give to some extent a longer lasting time and perhaps keep some economy going in McDowell County. Let’s face it, Walmart would have written off this stuff for the longest times. In addition, not allowing for some cheap lease option means that the shops have an actual local commitment. It might not have saved too much, but some saving could have been an option. Even as Walmart walked away because of profitability from their spreadsheet, small local businesses might still have thrived, which meant that McDowell County could see a larger prevention into becoming a ghost town. There is no guarantee here, yet in all this, how would the pressure be on places like Asheville, Hickory and Morganton and as certain start-up phases are instigated, would that also benefit those places? More important, could the negative drag be minimised in this way? Consider the quotes we see in the Bluefield Daily Telegraph, where earlier this year we see ‘Education, technology focus of Gov. McAuliffe’s visit to SWCC‘ (at http://www.bdtonline.com/news/education-technology-focus-of-gov-mcauliffe-s-visit-to-swcc/article_9a6356be-3f60-11e7-9b53-5bcd6e225a58.html), now consider the impact merely an hour away where thousands of jobs are lost. What would be the education impact, both in retaining students as well as gaining new ones? These are the real life local challenges and a strong political support system is essential in preventing such infrastructure disasters. If the impact of Walmart was so big, why allow this place to be lost, even if that means getting independent providers to retaining business? If one Walmart is a grocer, baker, butcher, electronic store, a gun shop, a furniture store, a liquor store, a sports store, a clothing store and with their large infrastructure making some profit, there is no way that small 1-2 family stores could not take over the bulk of business needed and not make a profit. What level of non-Walmart retrenching was in place? Was there any in place?

So as I go back to the article with “It was a big thing for people round here when Walmart pulled out. People didn’t know what to do. Young people started leaving because there’s nothing for them here. It’s like we exist, but we’re not existing.”“, in addition there is “She remembers the excitement when the supercentre opened. “People welcomed it with open arms, we needed the jobs,” she said“, the question is not merely the jobs, it is about the consumption and the people buying. So what if that one large box becomes a large box with 20 small stores? The building is there, the power connections are there. Could it be retrenched as a small mall? The statistics shows the decline from 100,000 to 20,000 a coal fell away, yet 20,000 people still need goods, they need clothes and food, in the end it might be cheaper for the government to consider side steps instead of letting it fall away, and in all this Walmart loses a vote of rights to property. They walked away did they not? It is a written off place and even as their accountants cannot resell or write off, they would have to accept the losses, and they walked out. There might not be a legislative option, yet there should be one, this is why the governor was my numero uno person to point at. He is el-Jefe (Just Everyone’s Friendly Executive) of Virginia and solution driver (or should be). If we can turn this around (extremely speculative), there would finally be a starting point to turn the US economy around. When the presented vulture economy is reduced to a community economy there would be a starting wave of growth. Now, do not expect this to be the actual solution, yet any waves that limits reduction can also be seen as initial growth. It is from those moves that visionaries are grown that will change that wave into actual forms of visionary retail. This has been proven again and again as places like JC Penney started in 1902. That is well over a century ago. I cannot predict what will come next, because the world will be changing in large ways over the coming 10 years, yet as I see it, the larger vultures like Walmart and Target are either transforming or on their way out, mostly they are on their way out as they are trying to consolidate maximised profit, when that happens we see truly see new places grow that are all about personalised customer interactions, and this will start with small stores. This is not about data, this is about interactions and that has forever started with a family business. You see, from the early days we saw that, for every one Mark Zuckerberg or Bill Gates there were 10 George Dayton’s. This is where the new economy will come from, not from the large iterative players, but from the small innovators. They will not merely build new business; they will keep places like McDowell, VA on the map. It is a first clear requirement for infrastructures not to lose the plot, of where they are on the map (You are here —> X), yes ‘X’ will mark the spot for the new player, and as new options are rising from the ashes, there will be economic movement, small art first, but that is how any train starts, it starts slow! This is in opposition to all those large US players who seem to live of the virtual possibility that they are all AAR Standard S-4200 trains that hold the acceleration of a formula one car. When you realise how short term, stupid, that train of thought is (pun intended), you get to see the first realisation that is drowning the US economy. For the reality is that those who not truly create are merely in the process of instigating decline.

Donald, now President Trump, stated: ‘let’s make America great again‘. In that I agree that it would be possible, yet only if certain ‘truths’ are not just adhered to, but actively supported through government. It might not save places like McDowell, VA, yet it is possible to reduce its decline and give time for the local community to see where growth could be created. It could be the starting template for other communities to follow. You see one Walmart is merely a store, a community is an optional force of nature and when fighting nature you always lose! In history the Dutch are the only ones ever to win a fight against nature and the fight they won was not getting drowned. Those dikes are merely holding back water, yet as the lowest point in the Netherlands is 23 feet BELOW sea-level and when you also consider that 21% of that nation is below sea-level and 50% is merely 3 feet above sea-level, it is one hell of a fight they did win. In the end it was one person, Cornelis Lely (1854-1929) who created the concept in 1891 that would change the war against the sea forever, merely one visionary creator!

So as the party for some of these places have ended, it will be up to the governors of their states to see what changes can be set to alter the future of these areas by first diminishing the recline and allow for time to give birth to the next visionary. They might not just save the state; they could captain a new direction for a nation that is in dire need of a few actual visionaries.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Finance, Law, Media, Politics

The Mary Poppins of Economy

Yes, today is about Philippe Le Houérou, CEO of the World Bank (as well as Jim Yong Kim, President of the World Bank). The urban dictionary tells us that the term Mary Poppins means:

  1. A well composed/happy person.
  2. To do something well/flawlessly. From the measuring tape held by Mary Poppins “Practically Perfect in Every Way.”

So if one of them was asked, how did you go on misleading the people on free trade, he could say ‘I Mary Poppins’d it!’, which gets us to the soon to be late President Obama (who as a former President won’t be able to properly time manage his calendar). As we see the quote “the president does not mention Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump by name but makes clear that he disagrees with both candidates’ opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)” (at https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/oct/06/barcack-obama-america-future-economist-essay), I have to wonder if the first African American president wasn’t just a puppet for big business. We will soon see him evicted from his rental place at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20500, United States. Yet the question becomes, what next?

You see, there is a lot wrong at present. The issue is seen in a BBC article (at http://www.bbc.com/news/business-37580844). I have been stating it for a long time. My issue is not that I am correct, my issue in this is: ‘why fess up now?’, is it merely because there is a new administration coming in, or is it the general fear from Wall Street that Brexit is not the negative act for the UK as proven and fear mongering is no longer working and the upcoming issue that Frexit is becoming a general fear and the second exit will be enough to terminally kick over the Euro and the EEC? You see, the admission as seen in “the effects of globalisation on advanced economies is “often uneven” and “may have led to rising wage inequality”. The bank, which provides loans to developing countries, also says that “adjustment costs”, such as helping people who have lost their jobs, have been higher than expected.” It was the end station for too many people and until the grey faction (almost one third of the population) dies, this situation will not improve. On a global scale retirement funds are unlikely to exist by 2032, when it needs to give support to no less than 850 million people, giving a rise to the overall debts by close to a trillion a month. These administrations have been all about short term and now the time is getting close to the factual realisation that retirement funds will not survive the terms they need to. For those outside of Scandinavia not a good thing. Even as we see the great news in several nations, there is a factual mistrust (in me too), that the status is all it is cranked up to be. When we consider that a massive block of these people are retiring between 2025 and 2037, there is very little doubt that at present, the reality will set in no later than 2041, considering that many people will be in their 80’s at that point. The deal breaker will suddenly flare up and a massive wave of bad news will hit on a global scale. That is a speculation from my side!

This all hits back because the World Bank decided to keep people for the longest term into the dark and President Obama gives us “The world is more prosperous than ever before and yet our societies are marked by uncertainty and unease. So we have a choice – retreat into old, closed-off economies or press forward, acknowledging the inequality that can come with globalisation while committing ourselves to making the global economy work better for all people, not just those at the top.”, which just shows us how screwed up his vision is. ‘More prosperous than ever before‘ is like a joke and a bad one. The overall quality of life, after the downgrades from 2009 have never reset correctly. The amount of people who are after 5 years still waiting to see an actual increase in the quality of life is absolutely disgraceful and it goes far beyond American borders.

The two are related, not just the TPP, the TTIP in equal measure shows a level of syndication that we have seen in the pharmaceutical industry (just one of many) is almost unheard of and this is where it reflects on pensions. You see, the next 3 decades is essential for this industry, which gets us to the retirement group. Because without the TPP, or the TTIP, there will be a gap for those people to truly make a killing and that is what they want. The BBC quotes, might be relevant and correct, but they are not exactly accurate. First the quotes: “Hillary Clinton has found herself surrounded by political challengers questioning the benefits of international trade and globalisation. Bernie Sanders, Clinton’s opponent in the race for the Democratic nomination, defined his campaign by arguing that globalisation had hollowed out the US middle class“. You see, these facts are true, but the previous administrations were not about people, they are about the Walton’s and not the TV series from the 70’s. Jim Walton, Alice Walton, S. Robson Walton, Lukas Walton and Christy Walton. They are the people behind Walmart. Their fortune totalling over 122 billion dollar. Individual not as much as Ellison or Gates, but combined making both Gates and Ellison not add up to much and that is quite the achievement. You see, this is the place where people working full time still ended up below the poverty line. So, it wasn’t about the middle class. Walmart required globalisation to get cheap stuff from China (and a few other places), where people were happy to work for $2 a day to please all those Americans. Now, don’t think of me as some Karl Marx type, I believe in Capitalism, yet is also believe in fair play and not giving an inch to the greed driven. If these people are growing their fortune by 1.5 billion a year (each), getting the workers a better deal is not entirely out of bounds. Now, I have no list as to how they made the $1.5B, so there would be a fair debate here, but overall the issue remains, the people lost a lot and were not given any fair dues. Walmart might be one of the most visible ones, it is, by no means the only one.

So, as we were informed by the World Bank, a mere 5 hours ago, yesterday’s title ‘Why is globalisation under attack?‘ (at http://www.bbc.com/news/business-37554634), leaves us with a different taste. You see, the quote “But many people, including politicians, are now voicing their anger as they see jobs being taken by machines, old industries disappearing and waves of migration disturbing the established order“, my initial response would be ‘No Mark, you silly git, we have been voicing this for some time now!‘, you see, you are mixing issues up and not having any idea what painting you are describing. It’s almost like hearing a person state. Did you see that painting with those people with rifles? So until you are realising it is the Night Watch by Rembrandt. People will be wondering what it is about. So let’s cut up the quote by Mark Broad and look at the parts individually.

Jobs being taken by machines‘, has been an issue for the longest time, it was a worry when I was in middle school, and now I am approaching retirement. Some of it is a worry, for the most it is the time shaping global industries.

Old industries disappearing‘, is again mere evolution, old media goes out and Google AdWords comes in. The Age of Mobile is here and has been here rocking the world since 2013.

Waves of migration disturbing the established order‘ is expecting the actual fear he is trying to push. Yet, there are two waves. The economic migration and refugees fleeing for their lives. All are trying to get into Europe and our systems were never designed to administrate the relocation of 13 million refugees and none of that is about globalisation to begin with. In addition, the quote by Donald Trump given “We talk about free trade. It’s not free trade; it’s stupid trade. China dumps everything that they have over here“, which is exactly what his Walton friends wanted to begin with and that too is not the issue. What is the issue is the article that we got the next day. The quote ‘some have lost out from free trade‘ and we can easily replace ‘some‘ with ‘those not on a Fortune 500 list‘ or ‘those who are not big business‘, so when we get back to the parts that President Obama was miss-representing with “a foundation was laid for a better future. He suggests that the US should prepare for negative shocks to the economy before they occur and not have to fight for emergency measures in a time of need” he is obviously showing a lack of humour, because the fact that the TPP and the TTIP is all about big business, also means that the small fish will still go hungry and the rejection of these accords mean that unless the US gets a grip on their budgets, there is every likelihood that the US as a has been will knock on the doors of the new superpowers (China and India) whether they can have a seat at the table, with the not so unlikely chance that these two might prefer Russia over America. It leaves Europe in a stale position with not too many options for now. In the end the Commonwealth could sit at that table, but we need to see massive changes and the World Bank is not the party to be listening to. In this I would be in opposition to ‘C. Herring, George (2008), From Colony to Superpower: U.S. Foreign Relations since 1776‘, which was correct until the final meltdown and in addition the 20 trillion national debt was not taken into consideration either (which makes sense). In addition, we can at present say goodbye to Tony Blair’s statement of the EEC becoming a superpower, mainly because it is as broke as anything else. With Brexit that option diminished and with Frexit on the horizon, the EEC stops being an optional power of any kind. Now that Nicolas Dupont-Aignan is stronger in favour of Frexit and as Frexit is not just the words of Marine Le Pen, we will see that the width of Frexit could be dramatically increasing, moving this from optional to likely. This is a direct consequence of people seeing for over a decade on how globalisation did not bring them anything and France is an evolved nation. So they should have seen massive positive impact, yet the economic news in France has shown nothing on that for the better part of a decade. At present a still shrinking economy without any options to get it kick-started is part of the problem for France, so we see that the Mario Draghi Trillion didn’t help too much for France, so who actually did benefit?

Yet in all this, the other side given by the Guardian (at https://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/oct/06/imf-and-world-bank-launch-defence-of-open-markets-and-free-trade), where we see the words of Larry Elliott, which I personally find to be out of place. You see, like with BBC Marky Mark, Larry gives us ‘Institutions react to concern that Brexit vote and calls for protectionism in US are part of a backlash against globalisation‘, which is, as I personally see it also a miss Presentation rank, so just like before let’s do some splitting.

  1. Brexit vote is part of a backlash against globalisation’, I oppose this as Brexit grew due to a stream of irresponsible acts by the EEC and those in the UK were tired of paying for that whilst the quality of life was going straight into the basement and for the most, too many UK people are still in that basement wondering what sunlight looks like.
  2. Calls for protectionism in US is part of a backlash against globalisation’, which is about crunching down on IP and forcing paths for too many IP streams (like medication patents) to the brink of additional tome and now that the gig is up, the greying population will get a hold of generic medication. In this too many pharmaceuticals were about the maximised greed and exclusivity and their timespan is now ending. They could lose over 20% of a market worth trillions, and this is not a market that they want to give up. In all this the US debt is also a factor, because whispered ‘promises’ from boards of directors are not going anywhere and the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20500 doesn’t seem to get it, or he does and he is just putting on a show for the next 8 weeks as he is aiming for a 7 figure executive income. In all this, the one solution that should have been instigated (as stated by my 3 years ago) is the one nobody touches from fear that their nice jobs fall away.

The one solution that no one, not even Jim Yong Kim is discussing, is also not illuminated on CNBC, The Guardian, and the BBC or for that matter, the bulk of all media. A proper tax reform 5 years ago could have prevented many issues we see now. It would still be an issue, but the top 1% would have 10% less and the bottom 20% would not be in the poverty they are now in. All because the big fat cats were all about the status quo of the markets, the status quo of their lives and the growth of what they needed to have. When we see some weird level of justification in Obama’s words “That’s why CEOs took home about 20 to 30 times as much as their average worker. The reduction or elimination of this constraining factor is one reason why today’s CEO is now paid over 250 times more“, when the fact clearly shows that within 3 administrations on a CEO level their incomes went up by close to 700%, my initial not so diplomatic response would be ‘You should have done something you dim witted Dumbo!‘, I know that one should not address an American President in that way, but the need for tax reform was blatantly clear in the US in his first year and he did absolutely nothing there. So his continued view of “we need to be even more aggressive in enacting measures to reverse the decades-long rise in inequality. Unions should play a critical role“, where I see the need to state on how he pretty much ignored labour unions (at https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/labor-union-officials-say-obama-betrayed-them-in-health-care-rollout/2014/01/31/2cda6afc-8789-11e3-833c-33098f9e5267_story.html), so his words of exit could validly be reposted by the unions by them stating ‘Just shut up and go‘. That is one side that the Washington Post was making perfectly clear. Perhaps President Obama would like to recant the words by Taylor and Terry O’Sullivan, president of the Laborers’ International Union of North America with “they were not listening or they simply did not care“, which is quite the issue for Barack Obama, who could at present face the label of becoming ‘the worst president in the history of the United States of America‘, I am not stating this, I am speculating on this, when we see the list of his achievements and the list of actions that are about to get overturned would be instrumental in this. I don’t think that he ever expected this, but on the other hand, this would be good news for the Buchanan family, as James Buchanan would no longer be the worst president (according to the C-Span poll).

All these elements connect as there is too much a view by those who imagine themselves as the holders of ‘wisdom’ that globalisation works, it does, but only for big business, and as long as proper taxation is not done, as long as board members earn incomes 700% above what a CEO used to make, which was already a massive amount, this globalisation will not hold water and nationalisation is the only solution to trim the greed away. In that a company is either not in any nation, or those nations see a chunk of that cash being taxed and spend locally, which actually does give forward momentum to those economies.

So, these Mary Poppins figurines should stop singing “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” when they get their pay check and annual bonus, they should start realising that the reality that brings the new “SuperTaxedAndCalibratedIncomeIsANormNow” might become a top of the pops. In that part as equilibrium resets on a government tax level as well as a living standard, we could see an economy where people have money to spend, they might actually all start the economy together. None of it required the crazy Draghi scheme and debts might actually be gotten under control, because that element too was a consequence of globalisation. Isn’t that interesting to see that no one from the World Bank made mention on any of these elements, which are proven to be factors. So was this a second step against Brexit and perhaps deflating Frexit?

 

I will let you decide, but feel free to read some of the articles I linked and more important, ask yourself the question why certain elements in all this were left out, elements that were part of all this all along.

Have a great Friday!

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Finance, Law, Media, Politics, Religion

Waffles, the Welsh Sidestepper

On my side, my party (specifically George Osborne) is stating that Brexit would leave UK ‘permanently poorer’, whilst on the other side we see Boris Johnson stating: “‘Its b******s’: Boris Johnson hits out at David Cameron over impact of Brexit on trade and jobs” as given in the Independent.

I stand by my party, but there are questions that need to be asked. Brexit, as well as a bankrupt America has been forever about greed moving, about giving in to banks and financial institutions. When we look at the Panama papers (and the debatable method how they got out in the first place), we see a banking structure that is completely greed driven, whilst we see again and again how the US (Congress, the Senate and the White House) give in to that greed whilst being unable to manage their debts and their budgets. In that same light we see the EEC remaining unaccountable for too long, pushing debts, overspending and non-accountability.

The Conservatives need to realise that scaremongering is no longer a method, yet here, is my usage of scaremongering correct? Are they scaremongering? You see, when we see statements from the PM, the Exchequer and the governor of the bank of England, we need consider the positions they hold. We might all consider the fact that we are being ‘misled’ because of a desperate, clueless and greed driven America, but is that the actual fact here?

I wish I could give you a clear concise and utterly precise answer. That I cannot do. Yet, what can I show you? Let’s take a look at that part!

The first consideration is given in the Independent (at http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/its-bs-boris-johnson-hits-out-at-david-cameron-over-impact-of-brexit-on-trade-and-jobs-a6988236.html), where Boris Johnson gave us the following: “Now there is this idea that trade is entirely controlled by governments, that no trade takes place unless governments agree with each other” and “Well, b******s. It’s nothing to do with governments. It’s to do with businesses, people and enterprises deciding they have something to buy or sell“. We can to some clear part agree towards this? America is the best example here. They will sell anything and anyone at the mere drop of a hat (any hat), business is merely the operation of a seller selling its goods. Every corporation needs sales, whether locally or internationally. As the UK is selling, it is also buying, because these two go hand in hand; there is an equilibrium (at least some form of). As long as a nation exports more than it imports it is making a clear profit (whether taxable or not is another matter). This simple truth gives validity and power to the words of Boris Johnson.

The Bank of England gives us the following (at http://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/apr/14/bank-of-england-warns-brexit-could-do-serious-harm-to-uk-economy). We get to see: “extended period of uncertainty about the economic outlook, including about the prospects for export growth. This uncertainty would be likely to push down on demand in the short term,” then we get “A vote to leave could have significant implications for asset prices, in particular the exchange rate. The MPC would have to make careful judgements about the next effects of these potential influences on demand, supply and inflation. Ultimately, monetary policy would be set in order to meet the inflation target, while also ensuring that inflation expectations remained anchored” and finally there is “A Reuters poll this week found that 17 of 26 economists thought a vote for Brexit could prompt the Bank to cut interest rates for the first time since the financial crisis“. First the last one, because it is an easy option. I think that is a reality that the UK would face no matter what. Do you think that Mario Draghi setting negative interest rates would not impact the UK? Do you think that Draghi starting a spending spree, one that monthly exceeds the total fortune of Bill Gates will not be felt (at http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-04-01/draghi-begins-ecb-monthly-bond-spend-exceeding-gates-s-fortune)?

We see in the News that Draghi has a planned total of about 1.74 trillion Euros of purchases in mind. That much debt added on the Eurozone. Who is paying for that? No one in Europe has that kind of cash, so explain to me how this would end well for anyone except the bankers and the financial sector? What will you expect when you send your 13 year old child with your credit card into a mall? Do you think that this teenager (regardless of gender) will come back with only the rashers of bacon, a pair of socks and a yoyo? Perhaps the storekeeper will talk your teenager into the consoles, shoes and lollies. It’s a credit card and the bill does not need to get paid at present. This is the reality the people at large have had enough of.

Now, back to the main line, because neither is lying, but in this first part, does the forecast of the Governor of the Bank of England matter? This situation is already out of hand, getting out seems to be the better of choices as no one is muzzling Mario Draghi, or those behind him trying to make sure that the money is spent. The Irish Times gave us another headline regarding the shopping spree of Mario Draghi: ‘In a world of negative rates borrowers get paid and savers penalised‘, in an age where the golden age group is the largest, the governments at large are using whatever they have saved to damage the elderly even more, whilst the criminals causing the damage are not required to be accountable. You might wonder how I am now labelling a party Criminal.

You see, in the Crimes Act 1900, where we see section 195 Destroying or damaging property. At Section 195(1) we see: “A person who intentionally or recklessly destroys or damages property belonging to another or to that person and another is liable to imprisonment for 5 years“. Seems odd doesn’t it? Yet, this conviction could make for an essential claim form the government as well. You see Austlii gives us “‘Property’ includes every description of real and personal property; money, valuable securities, debts, and legacies; and all deeds and instruments relating to, or evidencing the title or right to any property, or giving a right to recover or receive any money or goods; and includes not only property originally in the possession or under the control of any person, but also any property into or for which the same may have been converted or exchanged, and everything acquired by such conversion or exchange, whether immediately or otherwise“, which means that money and valuable securities, meaning ones retirement coin. In that regard, Draghi is playing with cash he doesn’t have, diminishes money he is not entitled to and the people at large are left with nothing.

Is anyone even surprised that the Brexit group is growing so fast?

So back to the Bank gov. You see, he is talking about forecasts, expected events and non-expected events. This is done as he should, but the silence around irresponsible spending has not been addressed for years now and this has the people scared, panicky and riled up, a really lousy combination if I might say so.

Now we get to the big one. The exchequer giving us “Britain would be “permanently poorer” if voters choose to leave the EU” as well as “The conclusion is clear for Britain’s economy and for families – leaving the EU would be the most extraordinary self-inflicted wound”, you see. I am not convinced. Moreover, I am not convinced that the 6% downturn would not happen. When we see spending into the trillion plus, what shortage would not happen? The question becomes how reliable is the quote “Britain would be worse off, permanently so, and to the tune of £4,300 a year for every household“. So where did he get those numbers from? There is a real risk of an economic contraction, but that risk is already there. I reckon that should the Exchequer want to regain any reliability and trust, than this full calculation with all evidence would be made public for scrutiny. That is massively unlikely to happen. This gives us the problems we currently face. Those who are needed in the trenches do not seem to be correctly informed and going public on those numbers would cause too many searchers for a document that has no longer value after the scaring is done.

Or is that scarring?

You see, this current government is not sitting safely where they are. When we read “It is a well-established doctrine of economic thought that greater openness and interconnectedness boosts the productive potential of our economy. That’s because being an open economy increases competition between our companies, making them more efficient in the face of consumer choice, and creates incentives for business to innovate and to adopt new technologies” we see the initial part of the problem.

What is written is a clear truth, but it does not touch on the issue that resides in all this. The image is given, with in personal mind that we are all accountable and that correct scope in usage is there. Yet the truth is that this required proper taxation laws where corporations can be held accountable. Governments all over (including the UK) have created a labyrinth of shelters leaving them with a mere shadow of a coffer, a government coffer that is empty, giving us the nightmare scenario we all currently face. You see, as I see it, greater openness requires accountability and the law at large has been remaining too short on the facts and yes to the options. Now we see an additional piece from the Guardian where they are explaining that magical number, still it reads like a presentation and not a journalistic piece. It is like the article is mainly the treasury making its case and no critical eye is falling on it. Yet, there is absolutely no indication that any of it is a lie. Yet, the countersign is equally a worry. The article implies that the UK could only exist through the coat tails of the EEC, that is not the image I ever held of the UK, this, not unlike the Panama papers, seem to give off a feeling that there is American orchestration. There is absolutely no evidence of it, but the way it is presented, it implies that high investment only comes from EU connections. I disagree, we only need to see how absurd luxurious and unaffordable sky scrapers come into existence in the UK to see that cash will remain on course towards the UK, the nice thing of an island is that space is finite and London is built to the max of its land size. The cost of irresponsible spending seems to be neglected as well as the paper downplaying the pressure of paying the EU. In equal measure is has (as I personally see it) downplayed the consequences of recessions. Greece has another one now, soon to be followed by Spain. Both France and Italy running high risks of two years of recession, all downplayed. The IMF added the last drop to the bucket. Again embellishing the effects of a Brexit, whilst they attacked Osborne’s austerity path in January 2013 (Olivier Blanchard), 1 year ago to the day Christine Lagarde is now admitting that Osborne’s plan was good as well as the best option.

So neither party seems to be lying, you are merely seeing different cogs of different engines in this entire play whilst you expected to see only one engine. That is no longer the case. What is still equally worrying is that the US is involved in all this. For them to not be involved is just too ludicrous to contemplate. That will be part forever overlooked. You see, the consequence that the Euro will have on the dollar has been trivialised.

This is where we stand, we see that there are no lies, but certain statements aren’t getting the proper back-up from open data. It is the rhythm in all this that we expect an American link to come forward sooner rather than later, for the mere reason that the collapse of the Euro will hit the US dollar like a sledgehammer, one that will spark collapses all over the financial field. This is something we see more and more in publications at present, but the one source I am referring to is the one I predicted on January 30th 2013, over three years ago (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2013/01/30/time-for-another-collapse/), there was no time line of the event, but I had initially (wrongly so) predicted it to be before now. So the entire Euro mess has been going on for 3+ years and again and again we get the unbelievable projection that next year will be better. Can anyone explain to me how that can become a reality when 41 trillion is unaccounted for? (US, Japan, UK, Germany, France and Italy)

Apparently debts are not dealt with, that whilst the top of banking on a near global scale ends up with a bonus exceeding 5 billion dollars (just the bonuses). Where does this money come from and who is getting the invoice on all this? It is that part that is pushing Brexit and Frexit forwards (although the massive reason for Frexit remains to be Brexit).

Waffling, sidestepping, welshing all terms to avoid dealing with the issues that are on our front door and let’s be clear, we all elected those people to do just this. If you didn’t vote you don’t get to complain! Even now, the bulk refuses to deal with anything, especially with the US element in all this. As for the perjury bit, is intentional misleading not the same as lying? It is the intentional part that bothers too many people, which is making Brexit fans as well as UKIP slightly too happy.

The final part

Here we get the final pat as excellently brought by Phillip Inman (at http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/apr/19/brexit-is-a-risk-to-uk-growth-says-carney). Not that word for word is such an achievement in reporting, but the article gives the part everyone should read. Here we see Marky Mark of the British bank (aka the Governor of the Bank of England) riding in on his shiny leased equestrian solution. Here we see a calm report given at the House of Lords. The important side is not the quotes, it is the way the parts were brought. The quote “Any positive impact of a [sterling] depreciation on activity would need to be set against any net negative impacts [whether on investment, consumption, exports or potential supply] stemming from its underlying cause.” He does not hit the nail with a hammer, he pretty much drives over it with a tank. You see, all he tells us in the article we get, we all understand and accept. The important side here is not what the immediate issue addresses, it is the indirect consequence of the act. A version of what lies beneath. Even if the Pound drops a little extra, that part is not the issue, the interest on a 1.5 trillion debt is the issue, that wave will hold too many people under water for a little too long, creating wrinkle upon wrinkle, each wrinkle drowning a few people with every wave. That part is addressed with the quote: “These are balances of probability, but the likelihood is that it will become more expensive to fund that deficit [if the UK leaves the EU] and, with a shift in the structure of it, it may mean that for a period the UK economy cannot run as large a current account deficit – it means that there would be less activity in the economy, less growth”. This is the brilliant side, because we waited until the Brexit crew was done waffling, we waited until UKIP shouted itself horse and the calm composed voice of Mr Carney now gives in clarity the part we all need to hear.

In perspective against the utter stupidity of the EEC with non-accountability and unregulated overspending, the British people are confronted with the simple fact that moving out of the EU will stop the ability for England to pay its debts (the interest on it). Until the economy improves the UK would go the same way as America with its unsustainable debt. It is by far the first clear element given to keep the UK within the EU for now. I have been on the fence for quite some time, but here is the one fact that matters. The British people by themselves cannot survive by itself to deal with what lies beneath.

It does not take away that the EEC needs to make massive changes, changes it needs to do tomorrow, not next week. Which shows a second part that the voters had forgotten about. You see, both David Cameron and George Osborne have been adamant and fighting to get the debt down, the one part forcing the UK in the EU, is the one element none of the conservatives want to see on the books. They prove that they want the best for England, which also gives more worry about Labour and the path Corbyn is putting the UK on, because in deep debt the UK will never have any options of choice.

So I say: Well presented and well played Mark Carney!

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Finance, Law, Media, Politics

Omphalos and its syndrome

This syndrome comes from the references of Delphi and the ‘navel of the world’, which is what Delphi was regarded as. Nowadays, we see Omphalos syndrome as the misguided belief that a place of geopolitical power and currency is the most important place in the world.

I believe that to be no longer correct, I believe that it has been ‘converted’ into something slightly more generic. I believe that it should be seen as ‘the misguided believe that its choice of management and achievement of profit are the most important in the world’. Let’s take a look at a few examples.

 

A is for Apple

‘Apple apologises over Error 53 and issues fix for bricked iPhones’ (at http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/feb/19/error-53-apple-issues-fix-bricked-iphones) shows the first example. The entire error53 mess is a direct example. It goes on to the core that we now see “Apple has released a fix for users affected by “Error 53”, a software issue that rendered useless iPhones that had had their home buttons replaced by third parties“, The initial response “At the time Apple said that Error 53 was a security feature to protect customers” reads like a joke. The mere alternative that was open was that any non-Apple certified method meant the wiping of data would have been enough. It took me 5 minutes to come up with that solution. A mere auto wipe of all data. No we have to read quotes like “Apple has apologised for Error 53 and said customers who paid for an out-of-warranty replacement for their phone should contact AppleCare about reimbursement” as well as “Solving Error 53 does not re-enable Touch ID, as a third-party replacement of the home button could potentially allow unauthorised access to a locked phone by modifying the fingerprint sensor“. It would have been the simplest of solutions to go through the re-enabling system again. All these simple solutions, all because apple wanted to enforce the repairs of their phones to what they consider to be THEIR allowed service repair shops. An application of greed, to maximise profits, not the openness of what was once the Apple OS X through a Unix open source system, but the mere stranglehold of a greed driven corporation. It was brought to light by several articles in the Guardian and an initial customer service based solution comes “after widespread publicity and the Californian tech giant being served with a class action lawsuit over in the US and attention from a competition watchdog in Australia“, I wonder how many IOS people will start considering Android now.

 

E is for Eisai

This event is taking us back a fair bit, around 2000 Eisai came with its Alzheimer’s drug Aricept (donepezil). The fact that profits grow by 100% might not be the biggest thing on the planet. Yes when the LA Times (at http://articles.latimes.com/2012/mar/22/health/la-he-aricept-fda-20120323) reported “FDA officials should not have allowed it, the authors said, because the clinical studies Eisai offered in support of its application did not meet standards the agency itself had laid out“, in addition we see “it failed to yield the improvements that the FDA had set as a condition of approval“, in all this a clear investigation did not take place. It is still allowed, mainly because it is FDA approved. We see in other sources the claims like “Further, the higher dose was not superior on either of the pre-specified secondary outcome measures, which, as the FDA medical reviewer pointed out, argues that the cognitive difference was not meaningful“, which we get from the FDA Center for Drug Evauation and Research. Application number 022568: medical review. Aricept 23 mg tablets. (at www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/nda/2010/022568Orig1s000MedR.pdf), when we consider the source http://www.nhs.uk/news/2015/10October/Pages/Cheap-Alzheimers-drug-may-help-keep-people-out-of-care-homes.aspx, where we get the quote “a year’s worth of donepezil costs around £21 a year, compared with a year’s worth of care home costs – estimated to be between £30,732 and £34,424 a year. If the results of the study were replicated at a population level, this could save the NHS a considerable sum of money“.

This is where we see another version of Omphalos syndrome, “the misguided believe that my version of cost cutting is the best in the world“, at this point, we should investigate the players and consider whether a case for criminal endangerment exists. The fact that sources have shown ‘evidence’ as per 2007 gives rise to a failed system, not just the NHS, but the leeway for pharmaceuticals as, from the given reports failed to yield the improvements that the FDA had set as a condition of approval, making the question why on earth was it approved at all and why are certain diseases used for marketing a cash cow, more important why is the NHS not loudly and outspoken dealing with this? Especially as www.NHS.UK is involved in promoting articles in favour of Aricept (donepezil).

 

I is for Insight Enterprises

This is a side that rests with Omphalos, yet in all this it is in equal measure a situation we must accept. Insight Enterprises did nothing wrong, it made a choice, it’s governing body stated ‘this is the best path, this is the golden solution’, we must accept that any governing body, being it corporate or governmental will be ‘smitten’ with Omphalos Syndrome. So as Microsoft changed the partner program in 2014, Insight Enterprises saw the filling of its corporate coffers trickle down to zero. (at http://www.crn.com/news/channel-programs/300079674/insight-enterprises-absorbs-another-hit-after-microsoft-partner-program-changes.htm). We can debate the mess Insight Enterprises received, the near simple answer is that Microsoft had to change programs, any large corporations will do that. Any program they offer and device tends to be ‘fluidic’ over time. Yet when we see the quote “The changes also affected Microsoft’s Licensing Solution Providers, like Tempe, Ariz.-based Insight, which are the only partners Microsoft allows to sell licensing agreements to large corporations“, which is now showing another side. Does this make Microsoft narcissistically selfish or just plain sociopathic? You see all narcissists are selfish, but not all selfish corporations are narcissistically in nature (which is proven as greed we put the greedy in front of a mirrors), yet in all this, is this a sociopathic side in Microsoft? Well, that is a debate for another day as the entire Omphalos topic would soon get too murky.

 

O is for Omphalos

As shown in the last example, we tend to see Omphalos in a bad light. Which is not all correct either. On the other side we can take Bill Gates and his Omphalosian approach to IT. This got us DOS and later Windows. On the far side of the scale of limiting, there is the view of the truly visionary, but that view needs a start. Here the Omphalos syndrome works in another way. As I see it, we can accuse Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Larry Ellison on that list. Yet, we only did that AFTER they became successful, the not so successful are usually never heard of again.

In this world today, the foundation of ‘the most important place in the world’ is less and less applicable, it becomes a world of solutions, an amalgamation of aggregated values (the European Economic Community being a nice example). Yet the foundation of how to go about it was done in a very Omphalosian way. Especially when we consider the past blogs on how only self-proclaimed departures were the option. Which is exactly where Brexit is now. As Brexit gains momentum we see that the Omphalosian solution was the most dangerous here, it took one of the smallest nations (Greece) to push their non-accountability for the entire EEC to be in turmoil, with now a decent chance of collapsing the EEC as well as the Euro as a coin. Even as the United Kingdom is not on the Euro, France is and a Brexit will soon push for an additional Frexit. In that regard, the Financial Times quoted Florian Philippot who stated “the idea of challenging greater EU integration had become “taboo” in Europe. “The more we talk about it, the more people will vote against it,” he said” (at http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/58f9cc98-ce51-11e5-92a1-c5e23ef99c77.html#axzz40fDAW3BL). This is yet another side of Omphalos, actually two sides. The foundation of Omphalos is based on one view, if that view does not evolve or alters as time goes by, that view becomes less and less actual. The view becomes an act of obstruction at best and debilitating at worst.

In the second part, we have forever seen the Omphalos syndrome in its power core on the scope of government (read: Communistic), in that view we forgot that it is corporations with their view on the ‘only’ solution that is now impacting the lives of people in several (read: many) nations. In that same view we see that the old approach to currency is no longer the same. Most values are too dependent on independent views of static organisations and their push for changed industrialisations. How come that the value of a coin is now directly impacted by places like Dow Jones index, Nasdaq, Standards and Poor, the IMF, the ECB and so on? Governments allowed themselves to be directly be valued from what is perceived to be an ‘independent’ side. This is the other part that drives Brexit and other plans to no longer be part of anything. There is a near global consensus that these sources can no longer be trusted. That their view is to some extent ‘Greed Incarnate’.

As I see it, there is no true independence anymore. When we read that Eagle Capital Management Invests $293000 and that J. W. Burns & Company Has $533000 invested in in SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (DIA). When the index itself is invested on, the expectations of improved value must be met, where does that leave us?

 

U is for You!

Even when we see the old and the new versions of the Omphalos syndrome, we need to realise that what once seen as short-sighted and limited is now not so limiting. It remains (as I personally see it) as short-sighted as it ever was (only in the rarest of occasions is it visionary), but now, the impact is no longer limited to one government, now its short-sighted impact is nearly global. It hits parties in many nations and it does not stop there. You see in a governmental approach it is ‘set’ to be what is best for its citizens and in case of the EEC it is what a group of nations see. Now consider the application from corporations that impacts governments on a global scale, offices of standards that impact the dangers to lives on a global scale as it does not enforce its own given values. How can we be aligned to a limiting view that could cost us our lives and our choice of living?

So as you consider ‘the misguided believe that its choice of management and achievement of profit are the most important in the world’ also strongly consider what it will cost you, not now, but down the track.

Leave a comment

Filed under Finance, IT, Law, Media, Politics

Fear mongers cannot learn, will the reader?

The technology section of the Guardian had an interesting article (at http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/feb/13/artificial-intelligence-ai-unemployment-jobs-moshe-vardi), ‘Would you bet against sex robots? AI ‘could leave half of world unemployed’‘, is that so? So, is the title a reference that 50% is in prostitution, or is there more?

The article starts straight of the bat without delay it gives the quote: “Machines could put more than half the world’s population out of a job in the next 30 years, according to a computer scientist who said on Saturday that artificial intelligence’s threat to the economy should not be understated“.

I remember a similar discussion now 35 years ago. It was 1981, I was working on the defence mainframe and I got the inside scoop how computers would replace people, how those machines would put hardworking people out of a job and a future. In the first 5 years that followed I saw the opposite, yes some work became easier, but that also meant that more work could be done. The decade that followed gave us an entire new region of technology. A region that would open doors that had never been there in the first place.

This technology is not any different, it will open up different doors.

Now, the people in ‘fear’ of it all are not the most half-baked individuals. They include Physicist Stephen Hawking and the tech billionaires Bill Gates and Elon Musk, in addition there is professor Vardi from Rice University, his statement “AI could drive global unemployment to 50%, wiping out middle-class jobs and exacerbating inequality“, I massively disagree here. The words of Elon Musk calling it “our biggest existential threat” and in addition professor Vardi stated “humanity will face an existential challenge“, those two comments are closer to the reality. Yet here too I believe changes will dominate. Consider a few years back, back to the time when I was younger then young (like 900BC roughly), in an age of Greek wars and utter ‘nationalism’ the Olympic truce was created. “Ekecheiria”, was established in Ancient Greece in the 9th century BC through the signing of a treaty by three kings: Iphitos of Elis, Cleosthenes of Pisa and Lycurgus of Sparta. (Source: olympic.org) There was a lull but in 1896 it started again. An event, which origin was to create an option to not be in a war and to compete. Of all the existential angst we have, robots should not be on the list any time soon.

My reasoning?

As we saw the start of recruitment for Mars, a serious recruitment to start colonising mars, we must admit that there are issues on mars, several could be diminished with the use of intelligent robots. Or perhaps the idea that NASA is looking on how to get resources from asteroids, so how about that Android solution? The BBC gives us the speculation on ocean living (at http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20131101-living-on-the-ocean), again an element where we do not thrive, but a robot could pave the way. In my own view, with the massive energy issues, how long until someone has the idea to place paddled wheels above a hydrothermal vent in the ocean to capture it as an energy source? Not the kind of work a person can do, a machine could, and an AI driven one could excel there. Just three places where we could end up with more and not less. Yet Vardi does give an interesting side, if robots replace people to some extent, that value of physicality might be lost. Now ask the bricklayer if he could do something else, would he? There is indeed the danger that physical labour becomes less and less appealing, yet that does not mean it will be gone. It would take at least half a century for things to be completed, whilst in that mean time new evolutions start, new challenges start.

More important, much more important is the one fact people tend to avoid out of fear. But you the reader, if you are over 45, consider that in the near future you will be dead! So will 3 out of 7 of your friends. Yes, the population is growing, yet the age groups are shifting, this implies that robots could be a solution for some of the work areas that do not require academic thinking. All these opportunities, not threats!

So as we see a new iteration of fear, is this version more valid than then the previous one? With that I mean the implementation of the PC. Perhaps having another set of less fear mongering eyes would help. The second part people forget is that fear mongering is also a drain on productivity here. Even as we speak Japan has a lead in this market, as does America. So how about we start getting ahead of the rest, so that is wrong with the commonwealth picking up a robotic skill or two, because one truth remains, once the other player get too much of a lead, the consequence will be that the followers are not considered for the creational jobs here and that is where the real mulah is, the IT explosion taught us that and that field grew a multitude of billionaires, the next technological iteration will do no less.

I am not alone in my way of thinking, the writer Nicholas Carr gives us: “human creativity and intuition in the face of complex problems is essentially irreplaceable, and an advantage over computers and their overly accurate reputation“, which is where the new future will head. Not to create robots, but the creativity to make then excel in extreme places where we could not comprehend until out boundaries are clearly mapped. So how is this news such an eyeopener? Well, when we get back to the beginning we saw “artificial intelligence’s threat to the economy“, as stated, much like the Personal Computer, it will not be a threat, but a solution, an opening into a new arm of the technology sector, even more important, this is not just a IT only field. It will require quality engineers and depending on the application of the scene. This means that we get new challenges, different ones mind you, but not lesser ones?

In that regard, depending on the implementation, it will require analysts, engineers, programmers and a few others on the list of adepts.

all these options and we did not even need to get close to the technological design of the new age cybernetic machines for the purpose of erotic exploration (level 1 at http://www.vanityfair.com/culture/2015/04/sexbots-realdoll-sex-toys), which is nowhere near an AI experience, time will tell how real that field becomes. Consider the age of STD’s we see nowadays. Mycoplasma Genitalium might be the new ‘trend’, as it can be cured with a mere one week setting of anti-biotics. So how long until it evolves into something that does not cure? Yet we do not even have to go that far, consider all the areas where man (or woman) cannot function, the risk too high and the rewards become too low. Here comes the clockwork system (aka the AI robot) and we are back on track.

So I see the robot as a positive wave. For careers, for jobs, for business evolution and for evolving technology. We only need to see the light of creation and we will end up with a lot more options than we bargained for.

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Finance, IT, Law, Politics

The danger the UN brings

Yes, the UN has been active, the news in several places including the Netherlands shows a sight that many might not grasp. As one of the sources US News reports ‘UN summit approves 15-year blueprint to eradicate extreme poverty and combat climate change‘, of course many are now cheering on how lives will become better. Will they?

193 countries agreed on this. Like the millennium plans. Not all targets were met, but as some state (like Dutch NOS News), there is progress. The news stated on how poverty got halved. Here I wonder on what grounds that evidence is brought, where the data is. I am not stating it is incorrect, I am stating that poverty shifted and several nations are playing possum on those numbers. Has anyone considered the US numbers on how many people are living below the poverty line? How many need double jobs just to make ends meet? How is that not poverty in its own right? Now they are stating on how businesses need to get involved, moving from charitable to profitable (quote Dutch Prime Minister Rutten).

Here is the danger! You see we have ample evidence on many levels that the bulk of business will not make these jumps unless there is a benefit to them. Like tax breaks, like non-accountability. So as these new plans needs funding, funding many nations no longer have, how much additional taxation will get lost and how will that impact the lives of you and me all?

Is that not a valid question? The Dutch king might be very committed, yet funds are not there. Critics are already in disagreement. The overall lack of environmental improvements have been overly visible for a long time, getting it in an UN speech is unlikely to make change here. Which is just my personal view.

The quote from the prime minister is also very tainting. “These problems are too large for a government to tackle, we need corporations to step in“. This is perhaps the first clear statement from a leading EEC member that governments can no longer hack it. This is what I have stated for a long time. The law stayed its hand and as such the treasuries remain non protected and non-accountability with improper wasting of resources have given weight to a now faltering group of governments. Yet, corporations have to rise to the occasion, to which I ask: ‘At what price?

Feel of course free to disagree, yet in 8 years, see how goals are not being met, not even close and then listen to the carefully phrased excuses people will give regarding not making the targets. The US News article has one quote that needs to be regarded: “Supporters say there is no choice but to go big in a world of expanding population, growing inequality, dwindling resources and the existential threat from global warming“. It is the ‘dwindling resources’ that is at the heart of many issues. We allow the exploitative and imbalanced Wal-Mart to continue, yet we all realise that resources are an issue. In all this that same Wal-Mart will be asked to give support so that they can get a free pass. Does this make the entire UN operation a new chapter in its recognition as a paper tiger?

You only need to look at the Syrian issue to see how the UN is largely ignored. Now we get another ‘issue’, not with the speaker, she is as I see it in all this part of the UN PowerPoint. The quote ““Promise peace to all children in Pakistan, in India, in Syria and in every corner of the world,” Malala implored the leaders“, it sounds nice, it makes for good TV, but there is no realism here. Syria has its issues where the life of a child is conceptual at best. The Indian government has close to no options at all to deal with its child labour issues, the same situation exists in Pakistan. Both nations where the realistic view is to either work or starve. The combined child labour population of Pakistan and Indian exceeds the total population of either Australia or Sri Lanka. That is how unrealistic the issues are. Again, I have nothing against Malala, she overcame more hardship than most of us will encounter in a lifetime, but those in the UN should know better and adding her to this presentation is good for Malala and I wish her every positivity as well as the fact that we should not be silent on these issues, but the delegates of the UN should know a lot better, this issue is one that will not be met.

Another shifted view comes from Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi who said that “the international community has to deal with global challenges that hinder development“. The quote “Egypt has been fighting an insurgency by Sinai militants allied to the Islamic State group. At the same time, security forces have cracked down on Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamists“, as well as “El-Sissi also expressed concern that “the tools” to achieve the goals are insufficient, and stressed that richer nations have a responsibility to help poorer ones“. This sounds not even close to nice. The direct option was to engage in a dialogue with Israel on how to deal with the Sinai, Israel is very willing to assist and find solutions here, as the pressure is also on Israel due to Sinai Extremists. No, President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi wants the rich countries to step in. Likely also making sure that some hands are tied in all this. The last one is a speculation, yet in addition the entire MFO situation are set after certain accords, so how will these accords be impacted? The September 17th 1978 Camp David Accords will likely see a different light over that evolving future. Is this truly a ploy to deal with the Sinai Extremists, or a played option to sway a vote to allow more Egyptian troops and military into Sinai, with all kinds of new pressures? I just set into the light three small issues that give worry to the entire 15 year blueprint. Yes, there is benefit and essential growth to eradicating extreme poverty, yet in all this it can ONLY be achieved by overhauling laws on a global level. Changes that players like Wal-Mart will never allow for, moreover, they have a sizeable lobby at their side to make sure that the fortunes of the Walton family remains guaranteed. Wal-Mart spend will over 7 million in 2013 to its lobby to make sure certain pawns were either moved, or not moved according to their needs. As the members of that family grows in fortune a billion a year, 7 million is nothing, even then times that would be a steal at twice the price, the cost of doing business and the laws of the land, the laws of most nations fall short in this regard.

Interesting that this side saw no exposure at all.

In this, the monarchist nations remain the strongest supporters, they are mostly about the nations and the global good, republics are all about the elected principle and the lobbies in the back, corporations rule there! Is it any surprise that Sweden and the Netherlands are so socially inclined? That is the impact of a monarchy reflecting on all the people and the moral and social good of the world. In similar light, how should we see the quote by India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Canadian Global News, where we read: “Modi confirmed plans for a fivefold boost in renewable energy but added two years to the time frame, saying it will take seven years instead of five”, is it because of American politics and what we have seen in the past that this could be seen as a shift until after the next election and that issue will be dealt with after the elections? Will we see an offer by Narendra Modi offering the open gap NTT DoCoMo left to the next mobile player under conditions of renewable energy installations? Will that suddenly count towards the total? In all this, those installations count as a cost, which means that those players will not be saucing the treasury coffers. That is the foundation of problems several other nations must remain aware off and unless the laws are adjusted this all shows like another paper tiger, offered in consideration from a group of people who get paid very nicely on an annual base, so the next 15 years some of these players would be decently well fed. Is that my sarcasm that you read now?

I must admit that sarcasm swims within me as I have seen the faltering side of several branches in law and politics not adjusting the view required to guarantee their nation towards growth, a view that is not an option at present. In all this not enough people are looking onto the sides that long term adjustments are required to make so that any option is realistic, yet with Wal-Mart equals on other shores their game is not dissimilar to the game the Walton’s are playing in a legally correct way, in all this the law has faltered in several nations, with no view of improvements any day soon.

So the dangers the UN bring will impact economies, unless the law adjusts firm and fast that plan is not likely to be made. If you doubt my words then consider the ‘plans’ that were made in 2000, they were not met, in some cases they were met only 50%, it is called an improvement, but from that we must accept that either the plans were never realistic, which beckons the question, why accept a non-realistic plan, in the second there is the validity that progress was booked, yet at what price and in this time and in this economic age what is the realistic chance that such funds remain to be available?

As for my doubts, that part can be seen in the very end of the article (at http://globalnews.ca/news/2242584/un-summit-approves-15-year-plan-to-erase-extreme-poverty-fight-climate-change/) called ‘UN summit approves 15-year plan to erase extreme poverty, fight climate change‘, the quote is “As for finding the trillions needed to implement the goals, Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Bill Gates said Thursday “we’d be doing very well to have anywhere near that amount of money available by 2030”“. We know Bill Gates to be one of the leading philanthropists. He has not tried to hold on to the massive wealth Microsoft brought him and he has spent a lot, yet he knows how much money this requires, something I expect the politicians involved have no realistic clue about. If Bill Gates shows signs of worry regarding the need of these trillions, how come the governments involved are not extremely outspoken regarding the massive debts they have and that no one has these level of funds. In part only corporations do and my worry is that the price of agreeing to all this will cost us a lot down the road. In addition, it is also interesting to note on how papers have the same stories, the same quotes and the same title, so is the journalistic branch now limited to do the copy and paste action? In that I set Reuters apart. The one issue they show and the other papers did not (as far as I can tell), is the article (at http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/09/26/us-un-assembly-china-idUSKCN0RQ0HW20150926), so as we accept the second quote to be “Chinese President Xi Jinping announced on Saturday that Beijing will establish an assistance fund with an initial pledge of $2 billion to help developing countries implement a sweeping global sustainable development agenda over the next 15 years“. Now if we accept the first quote to be from Bill Gates (the one stated earlier), now compare the statement just given by Chinese President Xi Jinping, controlling the second largest economy on the planet (if we accept the US numbers to be true), than 2 billion (the article states another 12 billion by China too), in light of the statement by Bill Gates “As for finding the trillions needed to implement the goals“, gives the vision that the second largest economy is contributing less than 0.7% of the required amount. So is anyone still considering the realistic view offered by the UN, a 15 year goal that is not realistic is in my view nothing more than a concept in presentations, if you are there and if the coffee was nice, the day might not be lost, but in all certainty, it is unlikely to be a true gain to anyone attending other than Malala, who as a UN envoy achieved what she had to achieve, to shed light on a situation that needs addressing, how that is done is actually on the plate of Gordon Brown who is the political side of the United Nations Special Envoy for Global Education.

In the most worrying closure, I have stated it before, would the culling of our population help? If so how can the UN exist, or even remain to continue when the required solution is to dim the lights for billions of people, a population decline in excess of 90%. This is not humane and equally unrealistic. I want to see realism in the shape and size that we the people are properly informed on what is needed, where the law will properly adjust to hold corporations accountable for steps taken and for profits made. A reality I am unlikely to see happen in my life, so what will be left to the generation that follows me?

I honestly do not know, yet in the light of what I just showed you the reader, did you consider any of the issues that I noticed and that none of the articles discussed and more important, why were these issues not raised by the involved journalists?

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Finance, Law, Media, Politics

Lack of vision

It is nice to see something else than the collapse of Greece, ISIS in Tunisia or one or two other things that have covered the front page in the last few days. Although the abuse I got from my statement “Greece is no longer for billionaires, many multi-millionaires can now afford to buy that country” has been hilarious. You see, it is all about vision. I foresaw some of the issues now in play months ago, I can also see the events as some of the status quo players are panicking as they need a solution, or lose a lot more than they bargained for. All that is almost a given. The media is looking at ‘sexy’ articles from economists on how austerity is wrong, but none of them are looking at the accountability a nation has, whilst not keeping its budgets in order is equally hilarious.

You see, the status quo people are all about continuation of THEIR needs.

This all links to the article ‘Twitter to co-founder Jack Dorsey: ‘We don’t want you’‘ (at http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/jun/22/twitter-dont-want-jack-dorsey), it is a week old now, but for some reason it had escaped my view. It is a decent article by Alex Hern, not just because of the way he wrote it, but the consideration given in there gives us another view that is the consequence of ‘lack of vision’.

In the article we get the quote “The Committee will only consider candidates for recommendation to the full Board who are in a position to make a full-time commitment to Twitter”. This is an interesting quote to have from a board, especially as Jack Dorsey is one of the co-founders of Twitter. The wiki quote “The first Twitter prototype, developed by Dorsey and contractor Florian Weber” gives us another insight. Jack boy was at the heart of the birth of Twitter and this board is now stating that they rather have a full time commitment person. So as Jack is not the person they want, let’s take a look at the vision that Jack build.

Because of an issue one of Jacks friends had, he came up with another idea in 2008, it founded a company called Square. Even though Square is not doing too well, I personally think that this could be turned around. In my personal view competitors of Square have been having a go at this, because of the threat they feel. Square is a sound idea, I reckon it has a decent future if someone with international Gravitas (read: massive brass balls/boobs) gets involved. Even though Business insider has been a little too kind on Jack Dorsey (comparing him to Steve Jobs is a little bit of a stretch), it is clear that this man has vision.

In my view the quote “According to Nick Bilton, author of Hatching Twitter, that first ouster came because he didn’t spend enough time in the office, leaving work “around 6pm for drawing classes, hot yoga sessions and a course at a local fashion school”. “You can either be a dressmaker or the CEO of Twitter,” the company’s co-founder and Dorsey’s successor as chief executive, Evan Williams, reportedly told him, “but you can’t be both.”

On one side there is the idea that the speaker has a point, the other part is that the speaker needs to be a civil servant and not much more. This would reflect on Peter Currie, the chair of the committee, it seems that he was, or he knows where that quote came from, whilst he is identifying a permanent CEO, he seems to be missing the point. Being a 60 hours a week workaholic does not make the quality of work better. It just gives you grey hairs a lot faster, without the benefit of yummy moments whilst they changed colour.

You see, Jack Dorsey is one of those people who needs the additional things like hot yoga and additional fashion lessons because his next idea could be just one course away. One simple conversation, an interaction with for example a nurse trying to fathom the hammock for her little girl and jack could suddenly get that next golden idea, which is likely to benefit both Square and Twitter. For those board members (read: Evan Williams), let’s not forget that some people get their golden idea’s in other ways. It seems to me that from what I have seen, Jack Dorsey and Evan Williams are opposites to a larger extent. If Jack Dorsey is seen as another Steve Jobs, than Evan Williams should be seen as the next Bill Gates. They are totally opposite and whilst the board is trying to figure out which alpha designer they should side with, it might not be a bad idea to find a way to make it work with both. Having two visionaries in your flock is beyond extremely rare. I personally side with the Jack Dorsey’s. I have no business pattern no set discipline, other than my dedication to get the job done. Beyond that my mind wanders on other venues, trying to solve that next puzzle. In that view I saw that hiring specific people for Square could solve their customer service part. Consider the quote from Gigaom (at https://gigaom.com/2009/12/01/jack-dorsey-on-square-why-it-is-disruptive/) “My view is that Square (or something like Square) is going to disrupt the businesses of companies such as VeriFone and Symbol, a division of Motorola that makes point-of-sale devices. Verifone makes a $900 wireless credit card terminal vs. Square, which runs on a $299 iPod touch“.  Yes, this 2009 quote is industrious in shape, size and concern. Whilst places like Verifone are sitting on a business model that does work, Square revolutionised the idea overnight, basically, small business owners would have a tread stone of growth whilst avoiding all kinds of initial investments. Square is that golden idea the interaction of technology and innovation. That is at the heart of vision, how to make it all work differently!

What will be the next vision?

Consider these quotes: ‘People Want Safe Communications, Not Usable Cryptography‘ and ‘76 percent of consumers were not very satisfied with technology’s ability to make their lives simpler‘. There is a market, its consumer base is greying and they need a simpler solution that gives them access without heartburn of an instant stroke after a dozen error messages. The need for simple interface software, but with a range of options is a desire for literally the young and the old. The young because they don’t comprehend, the old because they don’t want the hassle. In all this, markets that are reason for powerful growth and Twitter is in the thick of it. Which means having both Jack Dorsey and Evan Williams is a good thing. If the G-spot of financial advisors is a growing customer base, than the revolution of both Jack Dorsey and Evan Williams, could spell an age of loads of financial orgasms, so as we cater to an evolving mass of people, one cannot have too many visionaries in one building. In all this there is the hardware that changes and the software that grows, whilst the media remains hungry. In all this, vision is the key to unlocking the universe where we live in.

So when we see the quote “Project Lightning is one: the new feature sees Twitter taking an active editorial role during live events, seeking out the best content both on and off the network and embedding it in a dedicated section of the social network’s app“, with the mentioned similarity to Snapchat’s Live Stories, we have to consider that Twitter is now entering an iterative state where it follows ‘other peoples visions‘ to grow its base, in all this I state that catering to the eccentricities of both Jack Dorsey and Evan Williams might be the solution to come up with something new, making Snapchat follow the new Twitter ideas, not the other way round.

So in this we see the need for vision, not to applaud the lack of it.

This we see in the article ‘How same-sex marriage could ruin civilisation’ (at http://www.theguardian.com/science/brain-flapping/2015/jun/29/same-sex-marriage-ruin-civilisation-science), please do not worry, there is a link in all this!

Let me start saying that as a Christian, I do not care! I think any person should find the happiness that they feel they deserve, if that is in a same gender relationship, than that is just fine with me. Finding happiness is already rare enough, having it denied is just utterly counterproductive. You see, someone Facebooked Leviticus 20:13 the other day “If there is a man who lies with a male, he should be stoned“, the fact that the US legalised marijuana the same time it legalised gay marriage is just slightly hilarious when you consider Leviticus. It is all about looking differently at things.

Which is not the view the Guardian article had by the way. Now we get the quotes “Constant exposure to rainbows could mean people can’t see colours as well, and this could be disastrous. How will they know when to stop or go at a traffic light? Or which wire to cut when defusing a bomb?“, which some would call ludicrous, because we can always appreciate colours, only the colour-blind have a predicament, so they will not pass military service requirement, which means they will never defuse a bomb, as for the traffic lights, they can see when the top, the middle of the bottom light is on, which means there is no impact on that either, a science article loaded with half-baked truths and inconsequential arguments. This is how we should see some boards of directors. Their fear of requiring a status quo is now possibly hindering progress.

We need to move forward by innovation, by doing something different, because stimulating the brain is the cornerstone of innovation. For people like Evan Williams, it seems to be narrowly focussing on something related, which is fair enough, for some people that makes a difference, for people like Steve Jobs and Jack Dorsey it is to get exposed to a field of events as wide as possible. It is not entirely unlikely that Jack will attend a course in Biomathematics only to come up with a new biometrics concept that will ensure data security for the next generation. All missed because a board of directors has an issue with what they called ‘dress making’.

You see, I find their stance slightly offensive, it is for that same reason I have been so harsh on Ubisoft. After it made its billion, it moved deeper into business models, which is a bad thought, I understand it from a business point of view, yet consider that video games are art. A business model will decrease the chance of failure, yet in my view it equally destroys the option of ‘exceptional’, the line between ‘genius’ and ‘murky’ is pretty thin. I listened for too long to corporate short-sightedness only to realise too late that they were clueless to begin with. People fixed on PowerPoint presentation de-evolving from ‘status quo’ to ‘getting by’.

And my evidence? Ubisoft has not produced any revolutionary game with a 90% plus rating (truly revolutionary games, not what their marketing calls revolutionary) for some time. The next evolution in games is mostly coming from the independent scene, those pushing forward on their own, remoulding a view and bringing true originality. Examples of this view is Mojang (Minecraft), Campo Santo (Firewatch), The Chinese Room (Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture) and Hello Games (No Man’s Sky), there are more, the larger players have been slacking in titles and in quality of games. They forgot to take a leap of faith, whilst relying on business models.

We see this more and more, considering that Elder Scrolls online has had massive delays, than the PS4 community gets “it’s even worse considering some cannot play on the games release date“, which is after a year delay. I came up with a sequel to Skyrim early 2014, no online, no multiplayer, just an option to make millions of gamers happy. It took me three hours to get the first idea, a few more hours to put part of this to paper. In addition, I randomly designed a new game in my head, no business model can correct for this. Is that it? No, I came up with a new concept for the game developing of RPG games. It remains in my head because I am a decent database programmer (as well as data cleaner and so on), but I am not really a programmer, which gives me a slight disadvantage. I will work it out sooner or later (likely later as I am finishing a law degree).

So I feel for Jack Dorsey and I am on his side. In the end, Jack will come up with another golden idea which will bring him millions, I hope he does that. That board of directors is another matter, these people seem to get the quorum to hold on to status quo and they will also have a person to blame when issues go south. This is at the core of my resentment of ‘the business model’ in the field of creation. It depends on what was and cannot truly value that what has not been made yet.

It is a lack of vision that drives us into extinction, not time. Because time makes us old, vision makes us wise.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Finance, IT, Media, Science