Tag Archives: bloomberg

Terrorism is OK

How is that for a title? Is it nice, cool, rad or merely scary? One would think that people wake up at some point, especially when we see the condoning of terrorism because of the ‘signs’. It is in that light that we need to see the New Yorker and what it brought to the people (at https://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/the-ceasefire-in-gaza-a-turning-point-for-hamas-and-netanyahu). Here we see the writing of Bernard Avishai, a man who teaches political economy at Dartmouth, Dartmouth being a private university in Hanover, New Hampshire. It does not matter where he is teaching, from my personal point of view; the man has been in a stage of historic denial. You see, over the ages Hamas has only ever agreed to a cease fire when the ammunition was lot and they would only keep it until the stocks were back up. In this stage we need to consider what the impact is. You see, the issue is not that missiles were fired on Israel; it is the fact that 400 were fired. The storage for this would have been pretty enormous. This also implies that for the most, the rocket fire is done with the ‘blessing’ from the Palestinians to a much larger extent than we ever considered before. The even more hilarious view is given by the Washington Post with: “Why did Israel carry out this military operation at a time when many were heralding novel progress in diplomatic steps toward alleviating tensions between Israel and Hamas?” My response would be: ‘Didn’t you guys lose a temporary reporter recently? How much of a stink did you kick up over that one? So when 400+ missiles get fired at civilian targets in Israel, we see clear cause and even the consideration that the response was disproportionate (too light), in this that for every 10 missiles one building van get flattened, Israel can still lower the maximum altitude towards zero for at last 35 buildings at present‘.

From my point of view is that we need to hunt the money. These were not some 400 garage band projects, they were ‘commercial’ products (and not cheap) and there should be a trace on where they are from. 400 missiles, even over 10 months is just too much of an amount. There will be a trace and that stuff needed storage, even if it is after the fact, we need to look at the options at what could be backtracked. There is also debate over ‘Israel risks igniting a war that no one can win‘. I agree that there is a partial truth in all this, yet the risk is already ignited as the premise of premeditation that it takes to launch a 400+ missile attack, yet the Washington Post is not really that interested in giving us that light, merely keeping the darkness alive in hindering the light to shine on the truth of attacks against Israel. We can argue that Boaz Atzili has a point or two and he does have them, yet the lack of illumination on the actions of Hamas is also leaving me with a question mark in all this. In addition, the news (very generic) giving us Likud Minister Tzachi Hanegbi downplaying the rockets is also an issue, let’s be clear that it is a valid political play, but the stage with 400+ missiles is a changed stage and the denial over that is a little too weird for me. You see as a national security expert he knows better, the storage, the preparation to get this done was decently impressive. The timeline before this will be equally important. No matter how many rat tunnels are drowned. There is a direct need to look into the trace these missiles back as this will happen again and again and the next time it could optionally hit the wrong place (what Hamas calls the bullseye) and at that point the fence comes of and we do get a full scale war. We could consider that the pressure is removed as Gaza becomes part of Israel, yet another option would be preferred by pretty much every party (including Israel). It is there where we see the agreeing light to the statements by Dr. Mordechai Kedar. He gave us (more than once): “What would the UK have done to anyone who launched 400 rockets at its civilians? How about just one rocket? What would France do to anyone who dared launch one single rocket at its territory? What would any US president do to Mexico if it dared launch one mortar shell at America?” The bulk of the world has had enough of the mind games that Hamas and Hezbollah plays (as well as Iran and to some degree Turkey too) and the people are getting angry, they want it resolved it in any way that takes Hamas and Hezbollah out of the equation permanently. If anything that feeling is mostly fuelled by the images from Yemen, a situation that Hezbollah was a much larger part of than the news is letting on and the people are realising that too, hence the increased anger and frustration from the civilians in nations all over the globe.

Then we get one accusation that is a much larger issue. When we see: “Qatari money is being transferred at Iran’s behest. Iran’s rulers, under severe economic sanctions at present, do not want peace and tranquillity between Israel and Gaza. On the contrary, they want the smoke rising from a war between Israel and Gaza to divert media attention from Iran and the “deal” which granted the Ayatollahs 150 billion dollars in cash with which to destroy the Middle East. Qatar, a long-time supporter of the terror espoused by organizations whose ideology originated in the Muslim Brotherhood, backs Hamas publicly. It has, for the most part, built the infrastructure, including the military one, for a Hamas state in Gaza.” It is an issue as the evidence is required. It will not only end any nuclear deal, there would be enough public outrage that any politicians who was connected into diminishing this part in the equation, that person will be an outcast, the people will demand that person to be removed from office for life and the media is actually aiding some of these connected politicians. Certain people in the EU will see another light if we can ever clearly show evidence of their ‘assistance’ in feigned opposition to Hezbollah and Hamas, as it comes with a large consequence. One that needs to be put in legislation, yet the calls for an adjustment that a political voice is set to zero if any terrorist assistance could be clearly proven. To get there it is more and more important to trace the missile attacks not merely before the attack, but collect the evidence after the attack so that a much better case could be made against those supporting Hamas and Hezbollah through military hardware. I make it sound easy, but it is not, the water is deeply dark and there will be no clarity, not for a long time. Yet identifying the players in all this is becoming increasingly important., and there is a call to expose those who seemingly hide behind a humanitarian political cloak, and let’s face it the people have a right to know, do they not?

Yet the issue remains clouded and it will do so for some time. So as we see innuendo, gossip and covered information take the central road in all this, we need to consider the impact that inactions have. Even as we see US actions with: “The U.S. Department of State announced on Tuesday rewards of up to $5 million each for information or identification leading to the capture of the following terrorist figures: Hamas leader Saleh al-Aruri, and Hezbollah leaders Khalil Yusif Mahmoud Harb and Haytham ‘Ali Tabataba’i” we need to wonder if it has any impact at all. A Dark web ‘source’ made mention that one of them (Hezbollah) is supposed to be at a place called ‘مسجد الإمام الهادي يحيى بن الحسين’ either within the next 72 hours, of was there in the last 36 hours (the text was ambiguous and the translation by Google did not make any sense at all). Parts of the other text translated to a mosque supposedly in Sadat, which is in Egypt and that made even less sense to me. So relying on Google translate does not seem the best idea in any of this (as well as the fact that I cannot decipher the native Arabian alphabet), yet the exercise was important. Knowing the elements you cannot fathom in the first place is a first step in finding the limitations of a thought process. Data is the foundation of creating the timelines we need down the track and the lack of effort that are seemingly in place is impressive.

Even when we accept: “Qatar played a bad role in supporting the Houthis, especially after having already fought them as a former member state of the Arab Coalition, is self-destructive behavior, “ Al Adini said while explaining that Qatari leadership fully understands that Iran’s agenda in Yemen threatens both Arab and Gulf security“, we are seemingly missing a larger element in all this. You see, Hamas, Hezbollah, Houthi forces, Qatar and Iran are all elements in all this. They are all elements in a progressing destabilisation and money is the central key here. The issue has been going on for a year when we were first treated to “Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain have imposed a near-total embargo on Qatar since June 2017 over allegations of Doha supporting radical groups and seeking closer ties with Tehran“, I always have doubts, but the given links are becoming overwhelming. It is not merely ‘where there is smoke, there is fire‘, it has evolved into: ‘There is so much smoke in this room, I can no longer see the walls‘, ignoring this and ignoring the games that Iran is playing in all this is becoming a very dangerous stance to maintain.

I did do some (highly speculative and debatable) research in this and there is more and more alleged links towards bitcoin exchange on the dark web. This leaves me with the worry that there are even more Qatari links active as there would be an easy method for Saudi’s to use their banks as they do not reveal anything to anyone ever, so whoever is using this path is requiring an almost total level of isolation. I am not stating that Saudi Arabia is innocent, but the implied facts give more and more rise that other players are using the dark web to launder money and make payments as well as supportive accounts. This is a stage that cannot be proven as any link will never go towards any source that has any value, yet I searched as 400+ missiles represent value and deployment of such resources will cost a fair bit too. So I looked into whatever dark web search I could. Now, there is no way to get anything remotely reliable and my method was as plain as it was useless. I merely looked at the haystack hoping I would see anything metallic (optionally the needle we all seek). That is as good as it gets and even as I got more and more details on optional events, finding the wheat from the chaff is unlikely to happen. I reckon me winning the lottery has better odds. Yet the idea that this path has been taken makes more and more sense so even as we cannot find the relative data, finding the relative data becomes increasingly important because there is every chance that places like Iran would use it to fund events for Hezbollah optionally all over Europe and finding the money is a top priority. Just on the side of all this, the fact that I (as a mere exercise) would have been able to get a Glock 17 & silencer for $1149 (and an additional $49 for two extra clips with a box of 50 rounds delivered to a drop place in the UK, and you still think the entire Novichok issue in Salisbury was as clear cut as everyone thinks? If I was able to find this, then the GRU would have known about it, that entire situation never did make any sense.

There were links that offered something more exotic, but I was unable to get there (reason unknown), so in all this there is a reason to check the links and there was even more reason to pursue or is that peruse the information? I believe that the dark web is the Chinese wall that both Iran and Qatar are allegedly using (extremely speculated by me at this point) to keep insulated from any accusations and therefor that data will become increasingly important. There was more, a Dutch Freelance (detective or Journalist) found an extremist with: “an .onion link in their bio. I thought, Wow, this is the first time I’ve ever seen a jihadist group using an onion link. So I opened it, and I was blown away. I sent the link around to a few different friends with similar interests, and they were also blown away. We wanted to think it was a scam, but there were just too many factors ruling against it being a scam“, I personally believe that the issue is larger and even as some can be stumbled upon, there is a growing trend to use .onion links like burner phones. To be merely there for a short time (a speculated 96 hours) and then abandoned. Yet in those 96 hours, traffic of goods and finances could have been completed. It would be the operations equivalent of an entire lone wolf operation with no chance to find it in time. That too gives rise to the need to start tracking with a long term need after the fact. Even as prevention should remain the initial need, the data could down the track be enough for conviction and that too is important. Yet, for the most I cannot prove any of this. There is a lot of implied and even more speculation linked in all this (as I stated earlier) yet the connections are too realistic and probable to ignore. If people like Ben Strick are correct and there is an actual setting of: ‘jihadi crowdsourcing‘ then the impact of escalations in Europe will only escalate with all the issues that follow, which is an additional reason to stat mapping all this. So unless we want to start living with the slogan: ‘Terrorism is OK‘ we need to start to think about creating solutions that can deal with inverted data funnels with an optional stage that an inverted funnel leads to 3-4 other inverted funnels. This is not an easy path and there is no real direct answer, because it is not merely which inverted funnel it goes into, it could be that the third tier is a funnel where the path is not where it leads to but where it went when the data bounced, that too is a destination and that path that skill will become increasingly important. To illustrate this is a lot harder, but I will try though market research. Consider an interview; it is a mere one on one event. Now we assume that the interviewee was the jihadi crowdsourcer’s data point. So we begin with a few simple narrow, closed-ended questions. From there on we move to broader, open-ended questions. This gives an optional pattern and we move from both specific and general questions. When we have asked enough questions (collected enough data), we enter a stage with Diamond questions, which is a combination of Funnel and Inverted Funnel questions.

Consider the image, we see inverted funnels (yes, go with it), so as we go from A, will B be the exclusion, or did it enter the funnel? If it entered, C is out of the question, so if F, yet E remains a player. This is near impossible and it is not in one transaction, it is over hundreds of connected transactions that certain players will be excluded, even more events are needed to find a group, yet there will be a pattern over time and that is what is needed. Yet if C is not an inverted funnel, but a funnel, or it as an inverted funnel and the traffic went through C, we now see that F remains an option and B, D and E were excluded. It will be a data collection over a much larger time frame that will prove this and time is what is needed. Most Jihadists will not care to live, yet the people behind it will always prefer to outlive events and it is the only way to get to them. You see, when we look at history, we all know Ghandi, many, especially Hindu will know that he was murdered by Nathuram Vinayak Godse. Yet the movie (by Sir Richard Attenborough) implies someone behind the screen and those are the people we need to find. It starts by proving that there was a person behind the screen. In case of Hezbollah that is actually decently simple as the amount of Yemeni missiles required is impossible Hezbollah to afford (or produce) in any way shape or form and it is easy to state that it was Iran, but we need the individuals to connect to it all and that takes time. ‘Follow the money’ is the most realistic path to take in this case. It is more realistic as Mossad has been unable to find actual missile traffic for the longest of times, and even if they did, it would be for one shipment. That too is still important as it links goods and money, so that path must not ever be abandoned, yet conviction without the money path proof is pretty much impossible and the time is now as we see more and more events leading to Europe and to a larger stage, so this path is becoming essential. If we translate the events to marketing (or market research) the same paths can be used. Whether we go via vendor, via drop point or via the path of the funds and buyer, we have the elements of awareness of what to get where, interest to get what is needed, choice of goods and purchase to go through and unless every stage was another person (not enough people) there is still a path. The unaware cannot purchase, the unaware cannot choose, the interested part is aware, a choice was made, it does not matter whether online or offline, it is not virtual, so there was traffic in some form. Even if the first two stages are negated a specific person has made the choice of goods to purchase, so now we have inverted or not a much smaller funnel to work with. In the end at the bottom we have the point of purchase (or point of sale) and there is a connection there. Something was bought/sold and funds are linked to that, so that part is optionally set in cement, the rest is not, yet the deployment path is still ‘riddled’ with actual people as well making the picture more complete. Now we need to find their optional connections to the dark web, if it is web and not dark it becomes increasingly easy, yet this is not a path where we bank on too much good news and there is in the end the question if convictions will be possible. Even if the path is an inverted funnel (showing what some call a Customer Experience Funnel view), we can see that the jihadists unite in certain views and if they were the advocates in this, it stands to reason that they try to engage to increase their footprint (and attempted funding). Finding that point will give optional identification of channels with an optional overlap to people linked to the buyer and/or shipper. It is a slow path, yet as time progresses an essential one. It achieves two parts, the first the optionally linked people, yet it also shows that those not linked to anything can optionally be excluded freeing up resources to refocus in this path, because this path drains resources and whatever resources there are available will be stretched. It is precisely the view we need to have as more data means more efficiency. One could argue that it could make it an optional track to find links to servers that have remained invisible for the longest of times, because if two people are found, there is the optional chance that they have gone to a .onion link that we have never noticed before and that would be a first true victory, yet in a short term span, if temporary is the name of the game, it becomes a near impossible task, should we therefore not do it? Are we ready to admit defeat by stating: ‘Terrorism is OK‘, or will we get the notion to get clever about it and limit the dangers we are exposed to. For this we can actually quote Tom Cruise (the Firm): ‘If you want the criminals, go after their lawyers‘, in the case of Hamas and Hezbollah, we need to go after their accountants and contributors, and optionally their military goods distributor as well.

If you truly want to decrease pressures in the Middle East, this will be the only path that really works. If you are delusional enough to consider peace talks, consider how many there have been since 1982 and how often it worked (as well as the cost involved). It is a discouraging picture that makes depression look like a healthy positive look on life.

Oh, and should you consider Europe to be completely innocent in all this, consider that Bloomberg gave us: ‘U.S. Warns Europe against Iran Payments after Austria Bows Out‘ (at https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-11-15/u-s-warns-europe-against-iran-payments-after-austria-bows-out). The quote: “Austrian officials rebuffed entreaties from France, Germany and the U.K. to host the so-called special purpose vehicle, a system that the European Union sought to handle payments to Iran in defiance of U.S. sanctions” has absolutely no bearing on terrorism or fuelling terrorism. Yet it does show a desperate need to keep a level of facilitation to keep some Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action in play, a situation that has not been realistic for several months now. The issue optionally becomes a much larger vessel. Even as we see: “EU nations have identified Austria as the best candidate to host a special purpose vehicle that could handle payments to Iran, according to three people familiar with the negotiations. Austria itself is not so keen. Belgium, Luxembourg and France have also been identified as potential venues but Belgium and Luxembourg have declined while France is looking to Austria“, we see a nation not interested and an EU ready to take a desperate step, in all this, when we see the earlier quote ‘France, Germany and the UK‘. Why isn’t France, Germany or the UK doing this? It is that setting that shows a political game of facilitation on too large a field. From my limited knowledge, I feel that the EU is all about non-accountability yet the impact will be felt in Europe. Unless direct evidence can be produced by all EU signatory nations that this Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action could prove to be an actual solution. And in this I mean that politicians have to put their name under it and live with the consequences of being cast out of politics (for life) when it backfires, at that point we will end up seeing that no one would have been willing to put their name under any of this and you still think that Iran is merely sitting on the sidelines?

We need to figure this out before the Middle East destabilises close to completely and we are running out of time, if we have to choose, I personally see no other option but to openly side with Saudi Arabia in all of this, they might not be perfect, but with Iran as an alternative, we are basically ending up not having any options for any stable future at all. That part of the equation was given to us by the SMH merely a few hours ago (at https://www.smh.com.au/world/middle-east/us-eyes-ways-to-remove-erdogan-foe-to-appease-turkey-nbc-20181116-p50gew.html). when we see that the US allegedly accused through: “The Trump administration is exploring possible ways to remove US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, a foe of Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, NBC News reported on Thursday“, Turkey an open ally of Iran, as they are openly strengthening trade relations, giving even more pressure to the European union in all this, when the US ends up handing over the ‘enemies’ of President Erdogan to Turkey, so that they can be lost forever, at what point was Iran even a choice?

How much longer must we wait until we make hard and essential choices in setting a path that actually stops terrorist actions, because 400+ missiles can be considered as actual evidence that there is clearly a lack of actions on that front by way too many political players and governments as a whole.

 

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Finance, Law, Media, Military, Politics, Science

The FX slogan in action

I always loved the FX slogan, it is true, and it is at the centre of entertainment. Yet is it at the centre of viable analytics? Is a result merely presented as an anecdote more acceptable? We seem to lack the ability to take a step back and look at it in a clinical setting, because it is not always about the mere setting.

A scientist will show you how expensive progress exactly is.
A diplomat makes you look forward to the invoice attached to it.

This is a setting that we seem to laugh at. Now take this in a very different direction: ‘A person who is 30% white is still 70% guilty‘. You are not laughing now are you? Take this to the next level with KTVU naming the crew of a plane crash (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gpP2S6c74Ts), still having fun? The people connected to Asiana Flight 214 are not, I am certain of that. So when we see this, where do we go? Well we need to take a short pit stop when we address something that I have seen in my surrounding. The practice is not wrong, it can be loaded and it can blow up in your face if you do it wrong.

To get this we need to look at 2009, when Google’s Chief Economist Dr. Hal R. Varian told the audience: “The ability to take data—to be able to understand it, to process it, to extract value from it, to visualize it, to communicate it—that’s going to be a hugely important skill in the next decades“, this is true, it has been true for decades. So as data becomes is found everywhere it becomes the setting of an almost opposition. To get data from almost common sense (where everyone seemingly gets it, to a stage that the presentation of numbers, with a story, almost any story that fits we get to see that companies are desperately searching for talent with data skills and they make it worse by trying to find people who can tell a story. Yet where is the story the value? Is that because it is more believable, or because it fits the moment? Yet that danger is now growing as well. You see each quarter the story needs to be amended and builds upon the previous story and investors have a much better memory than some realise. This is where Forbes gets us with “Interestingly, much of the current hiring emphasis has centered on the data preparation and analysis skills—not the “last mile” skills that help convert insights into actions. Many of the heavily-recruited individuals with advanced degrees in economics, mathematics, or statistics struggle with communicating their insights to others effectively—essentially, telling the story of their numbers.” I am not sure that this is a correct path. Instead of focussing on the communication skill, we are given data presentations by Mother Goose and Mr Grimm and in all that, will we get the story that is told correctly? I have prepared dashboards and data reports for decades. I have seen how some jumps were made on the assumption of one result, whilst the data was not supporting it, or it was, yet only after targeted weighting? In that we get the story that is a partial truth, yet it is in that same instant a partial lie too and that part will no longer get the proper scrutiny that is required.

So now we get to the good stuff. Now we get to the Guardian that treated us to: ‘China planted chips in Apple and Amazon servers, report claims‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/oct/04/china-planted-chips-on-apple-and-amazon-servers-report-claims). Is it possible? Yes it is, yet the numbers and the speculative sides in all this is a larger problem, or better stated it is a large issue in a much larger universe and we are merely shown the keyhole view with the audio of two moaning people. Yet whether they are having sex or are pushing the bed around cannot be stated as we merely see a wall and part of a piece of furniture and we go by the sounds we hear. So when we consider that the corn borer can make the identical sound of a bat, so much so that the female corn borer moths cannot distinguish between the sound of a real bat and the sound of a male moth imitating a bat. Which quite literally gets her screwed, it’s merely how he gets lucky.

This now relates to the article, where we see: “A Chinese military unit has been inserting tiny microchips into computer servers used by companies including Apple and Amazon that give China unprecedented backdoor access to computers and data, according to a new Bloomberg report“, yet when we are also told “The attack was reportedly discovered in 2015 by the US intelligence services, as well as by Apple and Amazon as the companies purchased servers made by Super Micro Computer“, yet companies stay in the dark on this? So first it is Russia, now it is China? Consider the next quote “Amazon, Apple and Super Micro have all denied Bloomberg’s report. Amazon said: “It’s untrue that AWS knew about a supply chain compromise, an issue with malicious chips, or hardware modifications when acquiring Elemental.

Furthermore, we see both “As we shared with Bloomberg BusinessWeek multiple times over the last couple months, at no time, past or present, have we ever found any issues relating to modified hardware or malicious chips in SuperMicro motherboards in any Elemental or Amazon systems“, as well as “Apple said: “On this we can be very clear: Apple has never found malicious chips, ‘hardware manipulations’ or vulnerabilities purposely planted in any server.“. Is this an issue about what exactly?

This we see in the consideration of: “There have been increased concerns about foreign intelligence agencies infiltrating US and other companies via so-called “supply chain attacks”“. This is not unique. The American nagging and the nagging by its bitches (aka Australian Intelligence) is becoming a much larger setting as to the stage on where economic prosperity goes to. This is as I personally see it, the setting of a stage on where outsourcing goes to. This seems to be much more realistic and much more believable. You see, if there was truth in the Bloomberg part, if there was the real setting of “Apple had reportedly bought around 7,000 Super Micro servers when its security teams discovered the chips“, in that setting 7,000 server boards would have been shown to the world, it would have changed everything, places like Stanford, Harvard, Cambridge, Oxford and UTS (which has Apple co-founder Steve “Woz” Wozniak as a professor). They would be showing you the high and low of it all, yet that did not happen did it? So when we are seeing “Technology shares in Hong Kong fell sharply on Friday led by Lenovo, which lost 23% in morning trade. The Hong Kong-listed shares of Chinese telecommunications equipment maker ZTE Corp lost more than 14%“, which is interesting as ZTE was a thorn in the 5G side of the US and a few other players (like Telstra for example) for a much longer time, so is that a mere coincidence? What story telling sides are we not exposed to?

However, this is not the end. It is important to look at Bloomberg, because Bloomberg is not really the ‘storyteller’ of the century. We get introduced (at https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2018-10-04/the-big-hack-how-china-used-a-tiny-chip-to-infiltrate-america-s-top-companies) to the quotes “In late spring of 2015, Elemental’s staff boxed up several servers and sent them to Ontario, Canada, for the third-party security company to test, the person says“, as well as “Nested on the servers’ motherboards, the testers found a tiny microchip, not much bigger than a grain of rice, that wasn’t part of the boards’ original design“, which also gets us: “During the ensuing top-secret probe, which remains open more than three years later, investigators determined that the chips allowed the attackers to create a stealth doorway into any network that included the altered machines“. This is a much more frightening setting, yet why was this kept in the dark for so long? Not because of any matter that can be attributed to common sense. You see, I find “Still, to actually accomplish a seeding attack would mean developing a deep understanding of a product’s design, manipulating components at the factory, and ensuring that the doctored devices made it through the global logistics chain to the desired location—a feat akin to throwing a stick in the Yangtze River upstream from Shanghai and ensuring that it washes ashore in Seattle” an acceptable tactic, yet it opens the door on multiple places, places that are implied but not shown into the limelight. The first and perhaps the most visible one is: ‘timeline to design a chip‘. If that is so small, how can we be certain that the CIA did not do this to every Apple and IBM device ahead of fabrication? So when we get to “But that’s just what U.S. investigators found: The chips had been inserted during the manufacturing process, two officials say, by operatives from a unit of the People’s Liberation Army“, why them? Why not the Ministry of State Security? When we look in those directions, I personally find Chen Wenqing has a much more deceptive look then Xi Jinping. For either, funding would never have been the issue. And in the end Bloomberg gives us: “Three senior insiders at Apple say that in the summer of 2015, it, too, found malicious chips on Supermicro motherboards. Apple severed ties with Supermicro the following year, for what it described as unrelated reasons“. So yes, Bloomberg is raising questions, questions on where we need to consider ourselves in regards to China, an issue not properly raised by the Guardian this time around. Yet in both cases we end up with questions. We know that 5G will be a multi trillion industry and the US is desperate to melt the cogs of Chinese industry here, they have a backlog that is too large, there is at present no chance that the US, or Europe could catch up with China. The Chinese focus had been on 5G for too long, production is nowhere near it needs to be to go up against China. Yet this story, this event 3 years old and never in the limelight until now, that is impacting Lenovo and ZTE, so one of the 5G drivers is now as they call it: ‘In the shits‘, a 14% loss is nothing to get sneered at. And this optionally links back to the accusations against China in 5G, yet they are all still stories. The evidence was never handed into the limelight, and it also squarely lands the entire matter into the pond of former President Barack Obama, who still wanted to get trade deals going at that stage, so the Democratic party is going to get pushed into this mud pool sooner rather than later, because corporations at a global scale will feel betrayed in this mess. It gets fuelled more when we go back to September 2015, after this mess started and the people (via Reuters) get treated to: “President Barack Obama announced on Friday that he had reached a “common understanding” with Chinese President Xi Jinping on curbing economic cyber espionage, but threatened to impose U.S. sanctions on Chinese hackers who persist with cybercrimes.” So, did it happen? Was the story on the servers a ruse? Seems interesting that when placed in the proper timeline, against other news, we see a different setting do we not?

That is the stage we see when we add an element, any linked element to the story, it changes the preface of it and it changes the conclusions of it all. Any story with incomplete data is not a story, it degrades into a fairy tale, and both Mother Goose and Jacob Grimm both had their end of the spectrum when we watched their stories unfold. So where do the Guardian and Bloomberg stand? They go with sources that gave them news, yet when those sources cooperate in getting a particular story told, where do we get to stand, being told a story?

The server boards are evidence, yet where are they? If it is in 7000 server boards, there should be plenty to go around and show the world what was going on, but that did not happen, did it? So even as we were made aware a mere 5 hours ago of: “Huawei is trying to convince the U.S. government that Trump’s trade wars with China might slow down 5G adoption on American soil“, we now see that this is exactly what the US needed, time to catch up, or at least get a bigger slice of the 5G pie chart. You see a nation that is to be regarded as bankrupt cannot rely on importing goods; it needs US based goods to use a circle of non-cycled currency to keep its government running. And the 5G wave will go on for some time, the more time they get, the longer they can negate their official moment of being bankrupt. I am not the only one with that view, the same view is given (with a better economic handling) by Economist Laurence Kotlikoff who gives us: “While the United States’ official debt is $20 trillion, the fiscal gap is really 10 times larger — $200 trillion. That comes from adding in off-the-book liabilities, including debt that’s in the Federal Reserve’s hands, Kotlikoff said“, who also gives us: ““The evidence is in front of our eyes that we’re bankrupt,” Kotlikoff said. “It’s not bankrupt in the future. It’s bankrupt right now.”” A stage that I had mentioned three years ago, it might have been 4 years ago. I mentioned the settings and the consequences and I only needed an abacus to get there, but according to all the newspapers, I was wrong. Now we see more storytelling games and more pushes by large corporations to keep the current machine switches on, because once it is switched off, it ends for them, they will have no options and the markets will collapse soon thereafter wiping ours (and partially their) retirements away. That is the realism of our day and age and it is a story that I am telling, just like the others. I merely believe that I have seen more data, more complete data and I see the interactions on a wider scale. From that assumption my story is (seemingly) better, truer and more believable, is that the case, is it that for you?

You see, that is the danger with stories, it all hangs on the evidence that we are given and for the longest of times, the supporting evidence has been lacking, or basically completely absent on their side of the discussion. When we watch the Grimm in the TV Series Nick Burkhardt we accept it, because it is entertainment, and when the Grimm kills the Hundjägers, we know it is fabrication, entertaining fabrication mind you. Yet when we see the mention of Lenovo and ZTE, when we realise that 128,000 people are now in a state with an endangered job, families in danger of social security, as well as the impact on a larger scale, are we happy with the tale when it is the story and the non-shown evidence that is the matter. The fact that more parties are in denial is also an issue, but that could be for a whole host of reasons. It is the lack of evidence that is open for scrutiny that becomes the larger issue and that is an issue, it is an issue in every story, so whilst I embrace the FX slogan: ‘the story is everything‘ it is the lack of supported reality that makes it an issue in business intelligence and actual intelligence analyses. A setting that was 3 years in the open and we only get it partially served now, now that the need of America is becoming more and more dire.

The math does not add up and that has a much larger setting in all this than most are willing to admit to at present.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Finance, IT, Media, Military, Politics, Science

One thousand solutions

Yes, it has been 5 years in the making, or was that six? But the day is here, today is my 1000th article. So in light of some of the slamming that I have done against Microsoft (which they deserved and it was highly entertaining for me as well), it is also just to give recognition where it is due.

To see that in its proper light, we need to take a jump towards Sony, the very first PlayStation and a game called Gran Turismo. The first having the highest rating was one that stood out. You see, Kazunori Yamauchi gave us with Gran Turismo something that we had not seen before. Oh, we had seen racing games going all the way back to the CBM-64 with pole position. Yet Gran Turismo was something new, something unheard of and the screenshot that you see here might seem laughable to you now, but this was 4 console generations before now and then this was amazing. It was new it was fresh and it gave the players something that they had not had before and we all loved it!

These elements are important when we realise the article on Forza Horizons 4 for Xbox One (X) when we read “There’s almost been a sense of rediscovering what Britain is. I don’t think we’ll ever make a game quite like this again“, they were the words of Ralph Fulton. I personally believe he got it right, but he was not correct. I believe that this game added heart to Britain, which is a lot more then you bargained for. If there was one game that gives light to the consideration to buying a model X console then this game is it. The images are not merely about the cars, the views of wherever you drive, whenever and in what weather just jumps at you; it surpasses almost everything you will have played in racing games, and in this, even me, who is not a racing fan at all, I got blown away. They did not merely add some tracks to race, they gave us the UK to race in, and everyone, not merely those in the UK seems to be loving it.

I have written this before, so why repeat it?

Well, in my view Microsoft did something that Ubisoft should have done. You see, if you plan to make a game that is designed not to be a failure, you’ll never create a true winner. To do this, you need to jump out of the box and optionally burn it. This is seen on a much wider scale. We get part of this with ‘Instagram co-founders resign to explore ‘creativity again’‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/sep/25/instagram-co-founders-resign-to-explore-creativity-again). Here we see that “Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, have announced their resignation from the company, which is owned by Facebook Inc, saying that they are leaving to “explore our curiosity and creativity again”“. We can speculate on whether this is the full truth, or whether there is the setting that Mark Zuckerberg has made some colossal errors and these errors are not done yet, they are still to some degree escalating and as the wild wild west of the internet is now in a stage where governments are starting to ‘cooperate’ on setting rules and regulations in place. We see the Independent giving us last year: ‘Government outlines plans to ‘regulate the internet’ and get rid of problem content‘, which is hilarious for all the usual reasons.

So, as we see how government is introducing rephrased ways to set censorship, instigate discrimination and avoid issues of accountability, we are left to our own devices and there are more and more devices arriving, all remaining in some set league to avoid setting the stage where data is the most eagerly desired currency, because some people are not willing to go there just now. the one element avoided is that whilst we see in paces everywhere that porn is a problem, we see that it is so widely available that the internet is not the problem and that identification is at the heart of the matter, because America is not the solution, America has for the longest time been part of the problem. It has been for quite a while. It wants to police the internet, it wants to have freedom and set boundaries, but only as long as it does not hinder American business and that was the problem all along. Even as the numbers are not up to date, when you consider that “When faster internet led to a boom in video pornography in the mid-2000s, worldwide industry revenue skyrocketed to an estimated $40-$50 billion” is set on taxable dollars, do you think that America wants to do anything that is realistically achievable? I remember the short discussion that was going on somewhere around 1993-1996. I forgot the actual date, but there was a discussion that was started by the adult entertainment industry. They were the adults staging the setting that by having an .XXX domain (or something similar), there would be a place for adults and children could more easily be kept away. It did not go far and it was not successful as some religiously pushed people wanted all the porn from the internet. So tell me, after 20 years, how did that go? American bias, ego and greed stopped a whole range of solutions getting through and some could have made a decent impact. All stopped by ego and greed. It gets to be worse, because as the US is now trying to arm wrestle IP powers away from the people and making it government goods. To see this, we need to take a look at the IP Watchdog (at http://www.ipwatchdog.com/2018/03/01/u-s-patent-system-americas-decline-competitiveness/id=94249/), and we get treated to: “To find out who is responsible for the demise of American competitiveness you only reflect a mirror against U.S. innovation policy“. We see additional parts with: “China has established courts that specialize in intellectual property litigation so litigants have an experienced, fast and cost-effective forum to resolve patent disputes. These specialist courts take about 10 months to resolve patent infringement lawsuits with litigation costs running at approximately $200,000. In contrast, patent litigation in the U.S. often takes five or more years to resolve with litigation costs running in the many millions of dollars. A fairly ordinary dispute when litigated in the U.S. can easily surge past $3,000,000 when you factor in the inevitable post grant challenges (each of which will run $500,000 to defend, sometimes more) and the federal court litigation after that“, Yet another source (the Diplomat) gives us: “The United States government believes that IP protection is critical to both the physical and economic security of the country. IP protection ensures that American businesses, which produce a disproportionate percentage of their value in IP, will remain competitive on the international market. The U.S. government also believes that advanced technology is critical to U.S. military superiority, and that protecting this technology (through IP law and other means) will keep the United States ahead”, the setting of security and the stage of innovation have been opposing one another almost forever, so how does that help innovation? And when we consider ‘IP protection is critical to both the physical and economic security of the country’, how long until some level of ‘national security’ stops the IP from remaining with the actual owner that filed the IP?

It gets to be shown as worse off, when we consider both: “patents challenged in federal district court as claiming unpatentable subject matter were invalidated 67% of the time. The vast majority of these invalidated U.S. patents would have been deemed valid under current Chinese patent law, and some of these invalidated patents do actually remain valid and enforceable in China, Europe and elsewhere throughout the world“, as well as the economic setting which we got last March with “a whopping $215 billion in sales for medications could be lost from patent expirations between 2015-2020 and $31 billion are at risk in 2018 alone“. How do you think the US economy will get hit when certain nations start their generic solutions, lowering medication costs by optionally thousands or dollars per patient for both hospitals and patients?

As the patent holders are now also realising that there are added benefits to be part of the Chinese IP system and due to a lack of enforcement, the US market is no longer of decent value, we see that they are confronted with global benefits against much larger local setbacks and limitations.

How does one relate to the other?

There is a correlation between video games and patents (yes there really is). The correlation is seen in creativity and out of the box thinking. The conservative path of: ‘make sure it is not a failure‘ stops innovation. You see, we have been treated to so many resources that some people cannot fathom how some solutions were designed on a 2 MB RAM, 1 MB VRAM system, with a disc that had a maximum of 650MB (the original PlayStation). The makers avoided all kinds of traps and found new innovative solutions to make the game work. Gran Turismo is one of those jewels that show what a system when properly used to the max could achieve. As we went to iterative solution thinking, we lost the ability to become truly innovative and that is where we see that innovative patents no longer are, merely in the presentation are they optionally regarded as innovative, and that is where we see the next wave of technology.

Even as we are still confronted with the allegations against Huawei, we got shown 6 months ago: “Huawei filed 2,398 patent applications with the European Patent Office in 2017 out of a total of 166,000 for the year“, basically 1.44% of ALL files European patents were from that one company. And when it comes to innovation, we were treated to: “In our first [5G] smartphone we’re going to introduce a foldable screen“, and if you think towards the old flip phones think again, you merely have to consider the concept image to see that actual innovation in not merely a jump from iPhone 6, to iPhone 7. When we start seeing Huawei optional speculated settings, we see an actual jump and we can agree that to some extent 2398 patents do make for an interesting push towards the future.

This all takes another leap forward when we consider that if we want to be players, the iterative model no longer works. We need to be first and we need to be better than everyone else and iterative thinking is what merely gets them second place. It is not merely brand marketing, it is becoming a new level of marketing all together. We merely have to see the settings and changes we see towards Neom in Saudi Arabia to see the potential there. It is Ericsson that has already set the stage where the UAE has the potential to gain business benefits of $3.3B over the next 7 years, that is an additional $500 million, nothing to sneer at and when we consider the opportunities we see when we add the stages and places that Salini Impregilo is already working on, we see the growth of a long term stage with dozens of golden parachutes for those who have the financial backers to get it up and running. Take information to a new level, not merely showing up on a display, but for you to tune in with your phone or tablet and select what you want to see, with the optional setting of “Line 3, also known as the Orange line, is 41.5km long with an 11km underground section. It will have 22 stations“, two 5G stations on the line and repeaters at every station will suddenly give you thousands of users, getting informed by you, giving them choice of what they want to be informed about and with the smart dumb devices I mentioned a month ago, you get the setting of any train with up to 250 people getting informed. It is not merely marketing at this stage; it becomes entertainment facilitation with personalised advertisements. Creating branding and loyalty at the same time, because it is the first trip, that moment when you are going to work, or going home when consistency tends to be a need for so many travelers, that is where the next stage is and that is in Riyadh, expose that to the Neom stage where the city is 32 times the size of New York, it is no longer merely on how fast people get from one place to the other, it is the setting that people will want and need information at this moment, the one giving what they need is the one with the information required. It is no longer mass media; it becomes what I would call ‘Legion media‘, a facilitated one to one media solution for all. Not one stream all watch, but hundreds of media streams interacting seamlessly on the needs of the user giving them one seamless stream of information. A fluidic setting of interactions as configured/disseminated for the viewer, all personalised and automated; a situation that requires 5G to work and a solution that remains fluidic for the changing need of the user. We know the reality of Neom being years away (apart from the act that building will take quite a while), it will be now that we see the need to prototype and pilot those new projects to get the flaws out and stage the setting for large deployment, for the mere reason that new solutions are nice to have, but when your new idea fails on day one, that entire city will switch to the next solution on day two and never consider you again, because that too is the stage of 5G. It will be more and more about getting it right the first time. I wonder how many developers have realised this and most of them will trivialise that of course, and it makes sense that they do. Yet when the backers learn that the 5G community will be a lot more critical than ever before, will they still continue backing, or will they hide behind alternative wealth bringing solutions?

You see the apps that will be the most valued and priced ones are not the ones that look cool. In 5G it will more and more about enhanced pragmatism and managing of your personal infrastructure. Did you not figure that out? When we see the options that Saudi Arabia brings, we need to also see the limitations that it has. So the right ability to manage that through domotics and smart solutions will be close to everything, pre heating, pre cooling, adjusting, shopping and groceries, all done on the fly when you have time.

Even when we see the opposition (always important) giving us: “King Abdullah Financial District north of Riyadh, meant to rival Dubai as an economic hub, is still incomplete after more than a decade. As of last April, nary a financial institution had agreed to occupy any of the district’s 73 buildings“. I think that this is important too. Is it merely the language? You see, when we see: ‘Financial District‘, we think Wall Street and consider that area. Yet when we see: “Designed by architecture firm Henning Larsen, the 17.2 million-square-foot master plan calls for over 60 residential, office, and retail towers, several schools and parking garages, a medical clinic, civic buildings, and three hotels“, we see a lot more than merely a financial district, we see an almost self-contained city. You see when we see the larger scale I see an optional obstacle, not a negative one, but one none the less. To give comparison, I need to take you back to an original game. It was called ‘Sim City’ and it was a game, but gave the player an insight into designing his city of the future. Zoning was important at this point, so it required gradual growth. By going too large in one area, you would be broke and could not gain momentum in other ways. Even as it looks amazingly beautiful, how will you get people there fast? How can you vacate 2 million people (most likely from Riyadh and other larger cities) and set them in the new stage? There are two ways. You either create a need in the new place, or you create opportunity in that place. The first requires essential growth; the second requires a staging investment drive.

In the first example, we need ‘a pressing need’, when there is an infrastructure or a structural need, you create jobs and people will move there for the new job, which is fine, but requires vast amounts of money and large players getting there. The second one is great, but is initially also costly. For the second example I will use a solution that was in South Australia some time ago. To get people there, they gave away land. They still need to build the house, but in this setting he people had 50% additional money, or lessened costs, yet to break even the government stated that the land was given, but represented value X, and when they sold the house, they would have to pay the invoice for the land first. Now consider this in the setting of the King Abdullah Financial District. And there we set the stage of ‘selling’ houses/apartments at a mere 10% of the price, yet cannot be sold until the 100% price is satisfied first. So you now have a setting where the next 10,000 apartments only seem really cheap, yet in that setting you also create need, because these 10,000 households will need infrastructure like food, water, clothing, transportation, entertainment, schooling and so on; with that we see the investors come. build their shops and grow their business, as a result housing value rises fast and creates not merely a need, but also creates additional growth, so as these houses exchange hands and new occupation, the government gets the outstanding 90% back and a thriving place. It is not a short term, or a fast solution, but it is one that brings growth, and creating larger infrastructure solutions, because at that point with the additional 10,000 people or more we see the growing need in every direction. As these elements grow other needs can grow too, when there are 10,000 potential candidates in the financial industry and a clear path of growth exists, only then would there be interest into growing the stock exchange in a new place. Yet in that setting we need to realise that for many industries the capital remains alluring. So when we are confronted with “potential tenants and investors are less optimistic than the district’s planners about its future success“, as well as “The potential is amazing. The inside is impressive,’ one Dubai-based expat, who toured the site and preferred to remain anonymous, told Reuters. But he added, ‘It will not be finished. Decision-making is very slow (on the project, and) people don’t have cash“, we see the clarity of what I described. The ‘not having cash’ can be alleviated in one way, creating additional needs. It is the ‘decision making’ part that now requires to be decided on (yes I see the trap here) and there too is a solution. If we consider the statement that Business Insider mentioned: “Some of the kingdom’s strict social codes, including one requiring women to wear dark robes, will be relaxed“, we see the option of creating an opportunity for the foreign players in Qatar to become a larger mesmerising target for ‘poaching’. When we consider the Bloomberg message earlier in May this year giving us: ‘Qatar to Allow 100% Foreign Ownership of Firms in All Sectors‘, we see the setting that there is interest, especially in the financial sector to grow options on a global scale and there too Saudi Arabia would be able to set the stage for the future. More important, once these investors see the benefit in one place, there will be an added stage towards growth towards Neom for them too. This could have additional benefits as a much larger stage between Saudi Arabia and places like Egypt could become a much more interesting choice for the future. that part is not merely seen in one way, it becomes an entirely different stage when we consider yesterday’s news with ‘Award-winning Dubbo solar home uses Tesla Powerwall 2 battery‘, you might think that this is a ‘So What?‘ stage, but it is more than you think. That part is seen with: “A building company in Dubbo says the Tesla Powerwall 2 battery in its new display home means the Dubbo solar home could potentially go off-grid. Award-winning Greenmark Homes installed a Tesla Powerwall 2 battery to boost the display home’s energy efficiency“, it becomes even more impressive when you consider the added: “Tesla big battery wins awards, prevents blackouts“, you see, even as Saudi Arabia has plenty of sunshine, at some point the sun goes down and that is where the usage changes and whilst we know that air-conditioning takes the bulk of the energy, we see that the overall need could be filled in more efficient ways and that too needs time to evolve and refine. It is taking solutions out of the box where we see the beginning of true innovation and there are plenty of places that can benefit, but we need to open the door to creativity to make it thrive and set the next stage of innovation. We can make fun of some situations as we are offered (a very old joke): ‘a new powder for hydration, to make it, merely adds water‘. It is the innovative person that uses the solution and creates a powder to capture the moist in the air and end up with water. That same application is seen when we see applications on energy and hydro needs and creates another solution, the one we forgot about. That is the nice part about these stages and on why we need to keep our focus on Neom, you see it is not about the size of the city, it will be about how certain situations get solved and how innovative those solutions are. That is where we will be able to test our creativity and optionally become an actual innovative player ourselves, driving solutions and new technologies forward, not iterative over time, but by leaps, which is how you end up with one thousand new solutions not a thousand versions of one solution.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Finance, Gaming, IT, Law, Media, Politics, Science

FI01, becoming offensive

I will leave the entire Novichok alone for now, there is rustling in the weeds and it is important to look at it, but only when more actual quality information is available. It is time to take a look at the FI protocols. It is time for FI01.

This might not be the article for many of my readers, I will not shun hash words and I will not shun those wading in hypocrisy. Yet to do that, we need to look at certain definitions too and that is the part we get to after we look at the Guardian article (at https://www.theguardian.com/media/2018/sep/13/social-media-firms-could-face-huge-fines-over-terrorist-content). The article ‘Remove terror content quickly or be fined, EU tells social media firms‘. the setting given is “Social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter will be forced to take terrorist content off their sites within an hour or face multimillion-pound fines under EU proposals“, is probably the biggest part, but let’s look on; when we see some of the parts given by Julian King, the British security commissioner in Brussels. We are given a few truths that matter. “We have got a problem with content; it is not an entirely new problem, we are not starting from scratch, we have agreed to do some voluntary stuff, and we got some good progress – but not enough” is the first part and I will get back to that, yet the more important part is “Every attack over the last 18 months or two years or so has got an online dimension. Either inciting or in some cases instructing, providing instruction, or glorifying“. I get it, something needs to be done. In the first we need to see the list and the proper setting of evidence. I get it that this is not offered online for several reasons. Yet there needs to be a lot more scrutiny. As we see the utter screw up regarding Novichoks, the lack of evidence and linked statements without evidence. We also need to state clearly that the press (to a larger extent) is part of the problem, not part of the solution. Julian King needs to realise that if his peers are dragging their heels on one side, he cannot be part of anything acceptable stating the utter impossibility of: ‘take terrorist content off their sites within an hour‘.

From my point of view, this is about something else; this is about giving governments’ direct access to social media to filter ALL content (at their leisure). To get anything done within the hour is just not realistic and they know it. It is also very clear that when 5G is here, it will be too late and that is what they fear even more, and being stupid about it is just not a solution in any place.

It becomes an even more laughable setting with: “Parties could be fined up to 5% of their annual budgets for breaching data protection rules in order to deliberately influence the outcome of the European elections, including those for the European parliament in May 2019“. So instead of making it illegal and rejecting that party from elected consideration, they get a fine? Allowing for big business to sacrifice via some small institution to cop a few million whilst still getting what they want. So when we see Julian King state: “given the track record, there has to be a chance, and we have to up our game and be more resilient“. How about setting the stage that the use of social media for elections is just out of bounds? Limit it to TV, Newspapers and magazines?

We see the problem a lot clearer when we consider the ‘High-Level Commission Expert Group on Radicalisation (HLCEG-R)‘ report from May 18th 2018. Where exactly is the definition of ‘terrorist content’? You see, the EC is all about definitions all the time. Yet here we see an interaction and a level of interchangeability of ‘terrorist content‘ and ‘illegal content‘. It is found to some extent in the report referred to in footnote 19 where we see the report ‘COMMISSION RECOMMENDATION of 1.3.2018 on measures to effectively tackle illegal content online’. So is all ‘illegal content’ ‘terrorist content’? It seems to me that this sudden trivialisation is about something else entirely (at least to some degree).

When we look at the second report, we see: “At the collective level, important progress has been made through voluntary arrangements of various kinds, including the EU Internet Forum on terrorist content online, the Code of Conduct on Countering Illegal Hate Speech Online and the Memorandum of Understanding on the Sale of Counterfeit Goods. However, notwithstanding this commitment and progress, illegal content online remains a serious problem within the Union

This is reference to Article 292. Yet now we see Illegal Hate Speech Online, the Sale of Counterfeit Goods as well as terrorist content online. So is this about a Nina Ricci bottle or a Prada backpack, because the devil is not in the details, the devil wears Prada plain and simple. We see to some extent the ‘aggregation’ of stupidity (as I personally see it) in item 32, where we are treated to: “In light of the particularities related to tackling terrorist content online, the recommendations relating to tackling illegal content generally should be complemented by certain recommendations which specifically relate to tackling terrorist content online, building on and consolidating efforts undertaken in the framework of the EU Internet Forum“, so when illegal content is online, we now see the implicated setting that these people could be regarded as terrorist. With ‘be complemented by certain recommendations‘, which now becomes a rather weird setting. You see ‘political opinion’ cannot be seen as illegal speech, so not getting to barrier one, also avoids barrier two. In this setting, any political drive must be proven to give the reading of proven the need that the speech instils the drive to act illegally. Until a clear act is connected, there will be no success.

This now gets us to paragraph 33, where we see: “Considering the particularly grave risks associated with terrorist content and hosting service providers’ central role in the dissemination of such content, hosting service providers should take all reasonable measures so that they do not allow terrorist content and if possible prevent hosting it“. So at this point what exactly is ‘terrorist content‘? And the reference to that paragraph refers to ‘without prejudice to Article 14 of Directive 2000/31/EC’, are you effing kidding me? That is the privacy part on a section in ‘legal aspects of information society services, in particular electronic commerce, in the Internal Market‘.

So we get this mess presented?

In that regard when we see: ‘Commission proposes new rules to get terrorist content off the web‘ It is my personal agitated view in the matter that protocol FI01 is set to President Jean-Claude Juncker, he is the Eff…ing Idiot number 1.

When we again look at the headline: “Terrorist content is most harmful in the first hours after it appears online because of the speed at which it spreads. This is why the Commission is proposing a legally binding one-hour deadline for content to be removed following a removal order from national competent authorities“, a one hour deadline? Really? Most EC parts have not been able to clean their act in years, so now social media gets sliced and cut? Is Europe so broke that they want the millions from the three social media providers because they cannot clean their own stables?

Consider the Statistics, Facebook has 2 billion active users a month, and this is not static. We see from sources that Five new profiles are created every second, there is a registered amount of photo uploads approaching 300 million per day as well as the setting that every minute on Facebook: 510,000 comments are posted, 293,000 statuses are updated, and 136,000 photos are uploaded and that is ignoring languages and expressions. The entire setting of removal in an hour is so unrealistic it is close to hilarious. When we are confronted with that, whilst ‘the Conservative’ (not the greatest source, I admit) gives us: “The structural defects of the European Commission are plentiful: an insurmountable democratic deficit; not a hint of accountability; and an opaque process of legislative formulation to name but a few“, that whilst labelled individual FI01 is also connected to: “The president of the European Commission is embroiled in a new criminal investigation into claims that “tampered” evidence misled an inquiry into phone-tapping. Jean-Claude Juncker faces accusations that his officials presented inaccurate information under oath in a case involving an alleged illegal wiretap more than ten years ago when he was prime minister of Luxembourg” (source: The Times, December 13th 2017), that is the person giving social media providers an ultimatum of an hour? You have got to be kidding me. The Telegraph gave us in addition: “The new evidence, which led to the postponing of a trial of three senior formers members of Luxembourg’s SREL intelligence service, according to The Times, showed that a key telephone transcript had apparently been doctored

That’s the person who is part of throwing ‘illegal content’ and ‘terrorist content’ on one pile?

Good to know!

So now we get to the fact sheet!

Here we see (at https://ec.europa.eu/commission/sites/beta-political/files/soteu2018-factsheet-terrorist-content_en_0.pdf) the setting of ‘How does the new procedure for removing terrorist content work?‘ We now see the following

  1. National authority detects and makes assessment
  2. If considered terrorist content, removal order issued to host
  3. Host must remove content within one hour

That seems almost harmless, does it not?

Yet we also see:

  • Right to challenge: Hosting service or content provider may appeal the removal order. If the appeal is successful, the content is restored; if the appeal is rejected or the deadline lapses, the removal order stands and the content must be permanently removed.
  • Obligation to report: If issued with a removal order, the host must report on proactive measures taken to address terrorist content online three months after receiving the removal order.

I am missing any level of accountability, too much ambiguity. So from my point of view, anyone abusing the ‘terrorist content’ for mere filtering and censoring on behalf of anyone else needs to be held criminally liable. I reckon that after 2-3 cases there will be suddenly a large need for postponed trials.

When we investigate the member states part in all this, we see no fine for the state when wrongful removal was done, we see a pressure on removing (or else), yet there is a shallow point when it comes the other way around. In addition, we see “coordinate with other Member States and Europol to ensure that evidence of online terrorist content is flagged, and that duplication and interference in national investigations is avoided“, yet there is no registration on who ordered the removal, also, there is no registration per removal id and in that stage set penalties for those having set the stage for recurring unjustified removals giving ample voice to the earlier: “not a hint of accountability“, if this is about terrorist content, is that part not equally important?

I am all for getting all terrorist content removed, yet the systems cannot get it all, that is too unrealistic and pushing a one hour timestamp whilst the other side has no accountability at all is just a discriminating joke in the making. It is also still interesting to see that they claim to fight terrorism and terrorist online activities, whilst Iran state sponsor of terrorism in still a welcome debate and trade partner in the EU. In addition, the entire matter of Iranian diplomat Asadollah Assadi and terrorist was given light a week before the EU approved plans for the European Investment Bank to do business with Iran. So you want to stop social media, whilst still doing business with these people? How unacceptable is that part in all this? If the EU cannot clean its stables, it has no business enforcing anything on social media that is how I personally see it. Yes, we can agree that terrorist content must be removed ASAP, yet what is that? One hour? 24 Hours? 72 hours? The fact that the EU does business as usual with a terrorist funding government implies that they are clueless on several grounds and the fact that we see an increasing amount of evidence growing on the matter of Iranian Missiles fired into Saudi Arabia is further evidence still that the EU is merely the pot calling the kettle black. It is in that setting that we should conclude that they have no business ‘fine giving’ any social media, especially in light of such a massive funding failure.

You see, what angers me so is the mere filtering of politicians and that needs to stop too! In this I present two elements. The first part comes from Bloomberg last year. We are given (at https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-11-29/facebook-says-99-of-is-al-qaeda-content-spotted-by-ai) where we are treated to: “Today, 99 percent of Islamic State and Al Qaeda-related content Facebook removes is detected by the company’s AI before any user flags it, Monika Bickert, Facebook’s head of global policy management, and Brian Fishman, head of counter-terrorism policy, said Wednesday. They said in some cases the software was able to block the content from ever being posted in the first place“. Yet the other part that the Guardian gives us is: “We have got a problem with content; it is not an entirely new problem, we are not starting from scratch, we have agreed to do some voluntary stuff, and we got some good progress – but not enough“. Now we get to the good part, what EXACTLY is ‘not enough’? From my point of view Either Bloomberg lied to us, or Julian King is what some might consider as: ‘an unacceptable piece of trash’. If he wants 100%, he better give us clearly add a few elements of EC accountability and holding them criminally liable when they abuse their power. Also is any abuse of that ‘filtering content’ is found, he is to be dishonourably discharged and shamed in the entire EU, with a clear banning from ALL official positions in the EU and the Commonwealth.

Why the overreaction?

We have been fed two versions again and again and we see a lack of accountability on the EU side too often; for example the elitist banking group of 30 with Mario Draghi as a member. When the Financial Times gave us: “the close links between central bankers and the private sector have aroused public suspicion since the global financial crisis triggered a series of bank bailouts” we see suspected levels of nepotism that raises more issues than 50 successful Islamic State attacks. The article (at https://www.ft.com/content/dc64b6e2-8060-11e8-bc55-50daf11b720d) also gives us “The Ombudsman has also attacked the ECB’s argument that it was standard practice for top central bankers to join the club. The central bank chiefs of Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Poland, India, Brazil, Russia, Canada, and Australia are not members and Janet Yellen suspended her membership during her time at the helm of the US Federal Reserve”, showing that the European Commission has a truckload of issues, it is my personal view that it has no business acting in the way it does.

Yet, defence of the actions instigated by Julian King can be seen in Forbes. The article (at https://www.forbes.com/sites/kalevleetaru/2018/05/15/the-problem-with-using-ai-to-fight-terrorism-on-social-media), an Article from last May gives us: “the general public would be forgiven for believing that Facebook’s algorithms are vastly more effective. The New York Times summarized the statement above as “Facebook’s A.I. found 99.5 percent of terrorist content on the site, leading to the removal of roughly 1.9 million pieces of content in the first quarter,” while the BBC offered “the firm said its tools spotted 99.5% of detected propaganda posted in support of Islamic State, Al-Qaeda and other affiliated groups, leaving only 0.5% to the public.” In fact, this is not at all what the company has claimed. When asked about similar previous media characterizations of its counter-terrorism efforts, a company spokesperson clarified that such statements are incorrect, that the 99% figure refers exclusively to the percent of terrorist content deleted by the company that had been flagged by AI.

This could be easily tested and as such I decided to do so and with ‘ISIS images’ I got hundreds and hundreds of images, videos and other matters in my browser and I got even more with the search term ‘Jihad Islamic state’. The video (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jzCAPJDAnQA) shows actions of Islamic State, with sounds, vision and comments. It is News from Vice News, a video from 2014, still online today. At some point you need to as just how ludicrous and useless actions are. We get it that there are actions, we see that numbers become debatable. Yet in all this the mere reported numbers are already an issue, and if I added Vice News articles to me Facebook news feed, would that constitute ‘Terrorist Content’? This small part alone shows us that this is about something else and as such we better take a real hard look at the Actions of the EC, demanding that the censoring side should be held equally liable and prosecutable for their overreaction and inaction. Yet that is never ever going to happen, is it? This is making the EC actions (in my personal opinion) a lot more questionable in all this. It was the overreaction and the emphasis of ‘One Hour’ that set the tone of mistrust, I wonder what else we will see over the coming week.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Finance, IT, Law, Media, Military, Politics, Science

Democracy is dead

If there is one thing that the UK situation showed is the mere fact that not only is democracy dead, the question becomes has it even existed in the last 10 years? The fact that bullying and harassment are now the core uses of the media in facilitation towards power players (not even the political players) is at the heart of it all.

What started as an actual discussion became a trodden lane of smear campaigns and misstated innuendo. In the end a golden cage is still a prison, no matter how you slice it and even as the UK is all over the place, I do hope that they realise that they are about to become part of an additional 3 trillion in debt. The part that the media has refused to look into for the longest of times, the mindless spending by Mario Draghi and now a mere two hours ago we are confronted with “some economists argue that rapid technological development keeps a lid on prices, forcing central banks to exhaust their firepower fighting an economic paradigm shift, and leaving them with few tools for the next downturn“.

How does that relate?

Part of an issue I mentioned yesterday was (source: CNN) “Europe’s third biggest economy has suffered years of anaemic growth, high unemployment and budget deficits, while neighbours such as Germany and the U.K. have enjoyed a stronger recovery from the global financial crisis” at present the forecast is that the economy will rise by 0.2% less, giving a setting that is close to stagnant. In addition, even with the news from yesterday, we also now see: “Italian Economy Minister Giovanni Tria is pushing the parties in the governing coalition to keep next year’s budget deficit below 2 percent of output, sources close to the dossier said on Monday, lower than the party leaders have indicated so far“, as well as the part I mentioned last week as the article (at https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-europe-view-friday/daily-briefing-italian-debt-yields-get-stretched-idUKKCN1LG0T2) was giving me “Fitch is due to provide the latest evaluation of Italy’s creditworthiness with national debt standing at 130 percent of GDP. The Italian-German bond yield spread is already at its highest since 2013 – a downgrade will widen it further and make Italy’s borrowing even more expensive“, there was an overall loss of faith, yet we are now treated to ““The actual rating wasn’t lowered, and anyone who follows Italy closely will know that a lowered outlook for the future should be taken with a grain of salt because so much of the political situation can change so quickly,” Alessandro Polli, an economic statistics researcher with Rome’s La Sapienza University” and when we add Bloomberg (at https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-09-03/italian-bonds-get-a-respite-as-fitch-affirms-credit-rating) with: “Basically the politician with the greatest clout is saying Italy will remain within the 3 percent deficit band“, which is not only 1% deficit more, it is also an initial indication (indication mind you) that the 2% deficit marker is now more and more likely not the be a feasible one. But in all this, it would all rely on Germany and now we see the play, the EU and ECB are desperate to thwart UK democracy, because without it there is no euro, no Eurozone and no options remain and big business is willing to betray 65 million people to keep their cushy 7-8 figure income jobs, they are willing to do that at the drop of a hat, any hat.

The political players let the media be the facilitator for big business, first the banks, then tech companies and now the car industry. One by one fear mongering until the people got too scared and according to the Independent, 2.6 million people jumped ship and decided the swim to remain. So the new UK lyrics become ‘Ruled Brittannia, Brittania is the bitch! We shall never never ever trust in Fitch‘.

We get that to the setting of ‘Fitch ratings review gives reprieve to Italian govt bond yields‘ (source: Reuters). It is seen with: “Italian bond yields edged lower on Monday after Fitch left its credit rating unchanged at BBB, revising only its outlook to negative, though mixed news flow from senior ministers and manufacturing PMI data due later this morning could mean the rally is short-lived, analysts said” where we need to focus on ‘manufacturing PMI data due later this morning‘ which gives me that the rating was done ‘just in time‘ to avoid having to lower it, which implies to me that it was not a reprieve, merely the application of time management to force an upped rating. In that regards, when we see that and the UK realise that the EU barge cannot be stable, not with only one solid anchor, we get to see the equation where the UK becomes the force anchor to keep the EU dinghy from sinking on the spot. So as the industry will see ‘assurances’ of their value protection from the ECB. You see when we look at Section 9.4.5 of Part II of the AnaCredit Reporting Manual (this is about to become a massive leap of speculation on my side), we get to see:

If the appraisal aims to estimate the spot value taking into consideration market conditions, then “market value” is reported; on the other hand if the appraisal aims to estimate the market value ignoring cyclical factors, then “long-term sustainable value” is reported

Now consider that the UK is in Brexit and the Italian economy is rated down, when we now consider “APP holdings, Purchases of marketable debt instruments increase the Euro system holdings of such instruments and inject liquidity into the banking system“, we would see that under those conditions the entire ‘expanded asset purchase programme‘ would have to stop as per immediately and that is what the members of the ECB do not want to do, no matter how useless their exercise is and still seems to be regarded as (by critical outside minds). As I personally see it, the reported net acquisition of €24 billion a month, will need to stop before the current held holdings of €2.51 trillion might end up being regarded as dumped value, the setting of a ‘bad mortgage’ write-off. And do you think that this bad ‘mortgage’ is suddenly whisked away? Nope the outstanding amount becomes a taxpayer’s debt to deal with and without the UK the other players get a nightmare amount to deal with and that is what none of the 27 members want.

Now in all this I will be accused of comparing apples to oranges and that would be correct, yet what those people are (intentionally) forget to mention of illuminate that the ECB is a fruit vendor in all this. They are not the apple sales person or the banana (republic) sales vendor. In all this the ECB does not get to compartmentalise any of it. They bought 3,000,000,000 barrels of fruit at €1,000 each, so when some of these barrels contains rotten fruit, it becomes their loss, not the salesperson who they bought it from and as the barrels were unattended for the longest of times, more barrels and larger portions of every barrel become infected increasing loss over time to amounts too large to even contemplate. So, when the Italian shipper and the French shipper state: You bought it, it’s yours now; they will have no defence. In this it is the British supermarket that they need to buy some of these worthless goods or they go belly up and that is what they deserved in all this.

They should have sold the stock a year ago and stop purchasing those barrels of fruit and they are still buying junk fruit. And when we were treated to the earlier mentioned ‘manufacturing PMI data‘, when we see that it was reported down from 51.50 to 50.10, in the setting where highest was 59.00 and lowest was 48.00. So when we see the Trading Economics report and when we focus on that part and see the statement: “The reading pointed to the weakest pace of expansion in the manufacturing sector since a contraction in August 2016, as new orders fell for the first time in two years and output posted the first decline in over three years. In addition, employment growth was the weakest recorded in nearly two years and expectations slumped to the lowest since May 2013 amid concerns over future global trading conditions, particularly in relation to the US” is there any doubt on orchestration? This was done to stretch the game, not truly act on the reported value, if that was done the setting of ‘BBB’ could not have been maintained, it should have been dropped to ‘BBB-‘ (my speculated view). So whilst we think we are being told the truth, in my personal opinion, we are sold a bag of goods, because that is how the game is players and we are all being duped, just like in 2008, I would have thought that those players had learned their lesson, but apparently they did not and I truly believe that the UK needs to get out before that tidal wave hits them. When it does and they were still in that boat, they get to lose it, to drown just like the other players. So if all else fails, I hope that those players grow a set of gills, because they will need them and right quick at that point.

All this wheeling and dealing gives me the impression that the people are merely offer the choice between poor and destitute, I wonder if any of them can tell the difference from this point onwards. Oh, and if you think that I am kidding there, consider Greece that is under all that oversight. And only 12 hours ago, the Greeks decided to strand all the tourists on a strike. so as we see “Members of the union are reportedly seeking a 5 per cent increase for ferry crews, a request which they claim is long overdue as pay has remained static for eight years“, which now has two impacts. The first is that “affect around 180,000 people who have booked travel to and from some of Greece’s most popular tourist destinations“, who will optionally infect another 600,000 tourists not to consider Greece in 2019. In addition the fact that those people are demanding an additional 5%, because ‘pay has remained static for eight years‘, then those Greeks better wake up, because static incomes will be the cornerstone of their life for perhaps another 15 years. that is the long term effect of austerity, that is the impact of that massive a debt, so tax breaks are basically a thing of the past for them and the UK is still steering to a similar setting, that €3 trillion will make of that very clearly and it will over time affect all 27 member states to some degree, likely to Germany the most. In this, the Politician and environmentalist Nikos Chrysogelos has even more to deal with. the man is correct on all counts, yet until the Greeks are willing to strangle these dangers by installing Singaporean like methods (like a €500 fine for any environmental transgression) the tourists (and to some degree the people) will not change and the Greek islands will transform into an open sewer soon enough.

These are all issues that will impact the citizens of other member nations in some form or another; the impact of long term austerity and short term thinking. It will be about “some sustainable model of tourism” soon enough, but that also implies one thing. It implies that people will still be able to afford a vacation, because that group is actually shrinking and the economic upset that Europeans are currently facing makes that issue a non-option to at least some degree. That evidence was seen earlier with ‘forcing central banks to exhaust their firepower‘, so when that stagnation shifts to downturn the economic hurt will be on all over Western Europe and the ECB will have 1-2 options reserved for themselves and their ‘friends’; and the people in Europe? Well, who cared about them anyway?

So in all it is not merely the economy for the now in all this. The setting is also the backwash from the consequences we see in Saudi Arabia. Canada, Sweden and Germany are all losing business in Saudi Arabia. Let’s be honest, we see that Iran is their enemy; we see that there is more and more evidence that Iran is facilitating missiles for Yemen, who are then fired on Riyadh. All this whilst the EC nations are bending over backwards to keep a nuclear deal alive that is quite honestly not worth the paper it was printed on and they expect to rake in billions in Saudi Arabia as well, whilst criticising Saudi Arabia at almost every turn. So as I am contemplated (read fantasising) on “an $11 billion arms deal between Saudi Arabia and Canada may be scrapped“; and how I could optionally sell that deal to a few alternative players (for a 1% commission). Whilst at the same time we see the quote “To German news outlet Der Spiegel, an unidentified businessman said, “For Germans, the doors in Riyadh have suddenly been closed” here I see a few non-European options as well (the 1% commission still applies) and when I see “Saudi Arabia is Sweden’s fourth largest recipient of arms outside the EU with sale totals in 2014 reaching approximately $39 million“, I see an opportunity to consider talks to get that shifted to perhaps a ‘Northrop Grumman X-47A Pegasus‘ consideration and perhaps even more, once the abilities are confirmed. Of course for all the extra work I will be taking an additional 1% on top of the 1%, so in all this, the European Hypocrisy works well for me, providing that Wesley G. Bush is still taking my calls, or I will have to postpone that deal and start wining and dining Kathy Warden (at her expense, it is an emancipated world after all) and she might be hungry for the setting of an additional 200 million, especially as the doors to Sweden and Germany are closed. All economic settings that are clear to all and clearly visible to all, so in all that, how are we not seeing that there is an increasing realisation that economic stagnation is closer to mere millimetres away from an actual economic downturn.

All elements that will hit the UK one way or another, because if it took this little to get the economy down with the smallest of efforts on two EU nations by up to 1%, how unstable do you think that the EU economy was in the first place? You see, the ECB ‘forcing central banks to exhaust their firepower‘ is one without firepower and options, making it merely a logistic system administrating €3 trillion of debt. So how desperate do they need the UK and how dim sum is the view that being a ‘remain’ member will make their lives easier? When everyone around you says: ‘Stay with us, or else‘, how much does who need who in the end?

Consider the truth there, if it was such a bad deal for the UK and a good one for Europe, do you think that the bullying and harassment would have been this severe? Until the EU and the ECB stops facilitating for the large corporations, you need to realise that those ‘facilitating’ are merely ‘tools’ trying to get a ticket on the next gravy train and those rides always cost the taxpayer and most often way more than acceptable.

 

1 Comment

Filed under Finance, Media, Politics

A haircut before the guillotine

That is how we sometimes see life. We are all dressed up, all ready, smooth shave and a decent look, all on route to the main event where we are the guest of honour at a dinner party hosted by Joseph-Ignace Guillotin. Yes, we are the person on the chopping block. When death is all you look forward to, the way getting there will mean the most to anyone.

So out comes the master of coiffure, to make sure that the shave and the haircut were done to levels of excellence that you never considered before. Master tailor Marc de Luca will come and see you to make sure that the suit is one that Versace will look at with utter envy, the people on Saville Row will look with utter amazement on just how perfect a suit can be, because you must look your best on route to that once in a life time dinner party with Joseph-Ignace Guillotin, all the elements mattered the most on this one day.

So there is the setting you see when we consider ‘EU says Greece can ‘finally turn the page’ as bailout ends‘. The article (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/aug/20/eu-greece-bailout-ends-pierre-moscovici) gives us “Greece has turned the page to become “a normal” member of the single currency“. Yes in that regard it is nice to know that a mental health setting of ignorance when it comes to the economy, is still riding high with too many individuals. I mentioned it over 3 years ago in the article ‘Dress rehearsal (part 1)‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2015/07/01/dress-rehearsal-part-1/), where I stated ““Greece would face an unsustainable level of debt by 2030 even if it signs up to the full package of tax and spending reforms demanded of it, according to unpublished documents compiled by its three main creditors“, the reason that I call it questionable, is because Greece is what I call a 3G nation, which means it will take three generations for this debt to become close to manageable. So, with that I imply that the debt is still a massive form of pressure in 2061, there is no escaping it“. That part we now see with “Greece has the highest government debt in the EU, 177% of gross domestic product, and is forecast to be repaying loans until 2060“. WOW! I was off by one year and that was me using my fingers and an abacus over three years ago. Now we see that it will be all done by 2060, which is actually not a certainty. I took a few setbacks in consideration that are likely to be missing here, so considering that this started 8 years ago, we see that in the end it will take another 42 years, making my ‘three generation‘ prediction spot on. Yet the good news is not yet done. When we consider that the debt is 177% of gross domestic product, the fact that youth unemployment remains at 43.6%, as well as a few setbacks, there is merely one stupid act of starting another bonds plan and it all goes south really really fast.

The first is that with “Athens will face more exacting checks than any other Eurozone member, so Brussels can monitor whether the government’s budgets are in line with EU stability and growth targets” Greece will still be bound by some factors. The setting is a given if Greece decided to try the Goldman Sachs strategy again, the future will start to look extremely dim again at that point, with little to no hope on resolving it ever. There will always be politicians that play the fast and loose card whenever they are in a pickle, which will soon thereafter become the ‘fast and lose‘ scenario, especially for the Greek population.

Even now we see the quote: “Many analysts believe it will take a decade before Greece returns to pre-crisis living standards following a slump in which its economy contracted by 25% and unemployment peaked at 28%“, I am not convinced that it will be that quick. It might be if serious investors can be found to pump up the Greek economy like a Google space, an Apple hub and an IBM data centre. Those steps will be a turn for the good for Greece, but without a really large player opening the field, Greece keeps on lagging behind and a decade will not be enough to set the economy back on track to the pre-crises degree stated. Furthermore, there is the consideration of “levels of extreme poverty jumped. The population has fallen by 3% because of emigration and a lower birth rate“, you see, the levels of extreme poverty also slows the recovery setting and the loss of population will not merely mean that there are less jobs required, it also means that a continuation of certain aspects can no longer happen. So the setting of parent to child implies that more and more businesses die over time lowering the GDP further, which in turn shoves the debt up by 5%-10% more than previous. So it is not the percentage, it is the €336,900,000,000 that is due its interest and that amount is not shifting merely due to the shifting GDP percentage. It is rising because 336 billion implies 6-9 billion euro of interest a year and with a population of less than 11 million, whilst we get the slightly over enthusiastic “By 2023 unemployment is forecast to fall to 14%“, yes, I’ll accept that when I see it. You see, last October it was 20.7 percent. This now give us that close to 2.5 million Greeks are not paying tax. So exactly how are they not merely getting the infrastructure paid for, but in addition to that pay for the 6-9 billion in annual interest? From my point of view the picture we are given is a rosy coloured setting of ‘Bull dung and grapes’, at which point the grapes are not that appetising anymore.

The final part is seen with “As a condition of getting debt relief, Athens agreed to the EU’s demand to run a budget surplus of 3.5% of GDP until 2022 and thereafter 2%. However, the International Monetary Fund, a co-funder of the bailouts, has long argued this goal is too onerous for a country that has endured years of belt-tightening“. That shows part of the imbalance, or merely the gross injustice to the Greek population. There is close to no way to live with the ‘a budget surplus of 3.5% of GDP until 2022‘, unless you cook the books that is, which is a purely personal speculated option. It merely seems more than an impossible task and agreeing towards demands that are unrealistic is just not acceptable and utterly inhumane.

Forbes is on my side in this. The article (at https://www.forbes.com/sites/francescoppola/2018/08/20/lessons-for-the-eurozone-from-the-greek-debt-crisis) gives us: “Fiscal austerity is on the menu for generations to come. Furthermore, if GDP takes a nosedive – as both business cycle theory and economic history tell us is almost certain to happen at some point during that time – further cuts will be necessary to meet primary surplus targets. In the light of this, the IMF has expressed serious reservation about the sustainability of Greek finances. If it is right, then the Greek crisis is not ended. It will be back with a vengeance in a decade or so“, I actually believe that ‘a decade or so‘, is a little optimistic. When we correct for Murphy (anything that can go wrong will go wrong), the tie line will shove the entire situation to the foreground by the year 2025.

The article is a really good read, mainly because it gives us in short the history on how it happened, which was essential in all this, because the danger of “in 2009 the Greek government lied about the true state of its finances, and that the pre-crisis boom had resulted in a fiscal deficit of 15% of GDP and debt/GDP of well over 100%” is a setting that is not unlikely to return in the 2023-2025 years, for a few reasons, especially when the Greeks are set in a stage of what is humanly called to be in a stage ‘without a pot to piss in‘. there will be overreactions and that is when things go from bad to worse and in that time, when there is still 35 years to go, a lot of people will re-enter new (read: even more harsh) levels of austerity.

So even when we think that the bailouts have ended, we also need to consider that this is academically correct, yet the truth is that we need to realise that in a little less than 16 months “the expensive debt to the International Monetary Fund, some 2.6 billion euros of which is due by the end of 2019” (source: Bloomberg), apart from the interest, posts like the maturing bonds come out to play and that is in this case well over 2.6 billion, also we need to consider ‘the interest Greece has to pay on bonds is still too high at about 4.2 percent‘, there we see that the additional pressures that Greece gets from refinancing all those bonds come at a huge cost. In addition to that part, we also need to notice ‘National Bank of Greece issued international bonds (XS1698932925) with a 2.75% coupon for EUR 750.0m maturing in 2020‘, so where will that money be coming from? We accept that seven hundred and fifty million Euros is not a lot when you say it fast, but in lieu of the outstanding debts, the budget surplus as well as bond maturities, all that whilst the economy is not on track and will not be anywhere near that in 2020, my prediction of a new stage of defaulting by 2025 might have been slightly too optimistic.

Personally I really hope that we can find a decent solution for Greece, a solution that allows for a growing economy because Greece is an awesome place and for the most Greeks are awesome (unless you’re German at that point you’re on your own). The good news is not there yet and I personally believe that some players are still stacking the cards in a way that suits them and not Greece. I am referring to the message: ‘S&P Global Ratings upgrades Foreign Currency LT credit rating of National Bank of Greece to “B-” from “CCC+”; outlook stable‘. It was given to the people on June 6th 2018. I personally do not believe it to be correct or better stated ‘justified’. Bloomberg gave us those goods an hour ago with: ‘Greek Bad Loans Are a Drag Even after Crisis Shrank Bank Sector‘. Basically an hour ago we were treated to “the problem she saw 12 years ago lingers on — Greece’s banks are still weighed down by bad loans. That’s making them cautious about new lending, which the country’s cratered economy needs to grow again after its European bailout ended on August 20th“. Basically hidden ghosts still rock the financial cadaver of Greece and there is more to come. Do you really think that ‘stable’ is the correct word? When we consider the S&P definitions we end up getting “An obligation rated ‘B’ is more vulnerable to non-payment than obligations rated ‘BB’, but the obligor currently has the capacity to meet its financial commitments on the obligation. Adverse business, financial, or economic conditions will likely impair the obligor’s capacity or willingness to meet its financial commitments on the obligation“, if the entire setting relies on ‘currently‘ I end up with the consideration that this could revert to a more negative stage by years end and then we see that the costs will increase whilst the maintenance of a budget surplus is close to a nil percent possibility at that point.

If we see that this is going on and the stage is set in several ways against Greece, who was the message ‘Greece can ‘finally turn the page’‘ for? Was it for the EU and European, was it for Greece (as an optional setting of false hope) or was this as the starting signal for Wall Street? In my mind the question becomes, who exactly was The European commissioner for economic and financial affairs, Pierre Moscovici catering for? Perhaps it is less complicated, perhaps he was merely acting as the maître des cérémonies for Joseph-Ignace Guillotin. To set the stage, where in the old days, executions by guillotine were a popular form of entertainment that attracted great crowds of spectators (their version of the Roman bread and games). Perhaps that is what is needed in Europe and for now the Greek government is unaware that their status has been elevated from underdog to the proverbial ‘guest of honour’.

Yet in all this, we need to be more then sceptical, there is much doubt and most of it based on common sense. We need to realise that the setting of Greece remains close to unacceptable, these levels of austerity will have to continue not for a decade, but for several decades, mainly because until the economy gets an actual boost, the options of budget surplus seem to be so unrealistic that whatever was signed was basically signed under duress. If the CIA and others stopped torturing a terrorist because the issue was too inhumane and the intelligence was never reliable, why would you transfer such levels of inhumane economic pressure to a European ally?

In the entire Greek economic setting that one part never ever made any sense to me.

 

1 Comment

Filed under Finance, Media, Politics, Science

Oman’s neighbour

You might remember the state of Oman, capital Muscat. There are several reasons to remember Oman, the fact that they got into the news last March with: “The Central Bank of Iran has allowed lenders to issue guarantees for Iranian businesses planning to invest in Oman or those who seek to take out loans from Omani banks” is merely one reason. The fact that they are next to Yemen is the actual reason to mention them. You see, when you look at Amnesty International, you see (at https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2015/09/yemen-the-forgotten-war/) the quote “On 25 March 2015, an international coalition led by Saudi Arabia launched air strikes against the Huthi armed group in Yemen sparking a full-blown armed conflict. Over the following three years, the conflict in Yemen is showing no real signs of abating. Horrific human rights abuses, as well as war crimes, are being committed throughout the country by all parties to the conflict, causing unbearable suffering for civilians” is the issue. Now, let’s be clear, Amnesty International is not lying to you, but the setting that led to it is equally important. The missing part is: “Houthi forces controlling the capital Sana’a and allied with forces loyal to the former president Ali Abdullah Saleh have clashed with forces loyal to the government of Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi, based in Aden“, the setting is ‘former president Ali Abdullah Saleh‘ versus ‘deposed president Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi‘, deposed by the Houthi’s who had instigated a Coup d’état. I will admit that it is more complex than that (or better stated there are additional unmentioned facts here), yet the forced deposing of the then president Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi is still an issue; he went for help towards his allies.

That part is an important part that is missing. After that things went from bad to worse with on the frontlines Iran using Hezbollah enabling the deniable launching of missiles on Saudi Arabia, that is a clear setting and this escalation has no sign of letting up or slowing down.

Now we get the setting that Bloomberg is giving us. the setting (at https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-07-26/yemen-rebels-say-they-attacked-abu-dhabi-airport-with-drones), with the headline ‘Yemen Rebels Say They Attacked Abu Dhabi Airport With Drones‘, the issue is not merely that they have access to drones, the setting of the Iranian missiles and the fact that the Houthi’s are attacking both Saudi Arabia and the UAE (which is denied by the UAE) gives rise to other parts. with the quote “The source confirmed that the drone, Sammad 3, begun its operations by targeting Abu Dhabi International Airport with several raids, in response to the UAE crimes against Yemen” gives rise to the setting that this is no longer merely a Houthi versus the world setting, the entire premise that not only was there a new Drone developed, the Sammad 3 is also actively attacking the UAE, the question becomes is this done via Saudi Arabia, or via Oman, not merely transgressing on their sovereign land, but is it done whilst some in either government was aware? The direct path via Saudi Arabia makes more sense as there is a whole lot of nothing in that region. The second question becomes: why strategically deploy in this way? We might accept that whatever the Yemeni have is nowhere near what the US has, so it will be less than $12M per drone, but how much less is it?

In addition, what is the operational ability of the Sammad 3 (the speculated drone in question)? When you look into the timeline that one announcement comes after the announcement of the Sammad 2, whilst increasing the operational support 10 fold is also suspicious on a few levels. You see, every system increases as becomes better, but 1000% increase is a little much by any standard. Even as we accept that some strategies are better than others, Middle East Eye gives us: “Since the Saudi-led coalition launched its war in Yemen in March 2015, the UAE has been a key player. Yet, while Riyadh’s goal has been to restore President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi to power and crush the Houthi uprising, Abu Dhabi has focused more on the south, training security forces to secure its own geopolitical ambitions“, in this we might question some actions, and they are to some extent, yet the overbearing issue is that there is an Iranian finger in this pie. Only 14 weeks ago we were treated to: “The Yemeni government says that Iran supplied the Houthi rebels with drones used to attack Saudi Arabia. On Wednesday, Riyadh said it shot down two drones in the south of the country and intercepted ballistic missiles launched by the Houthi forces in Yemen. The drones are “made in Iran”, said Yemen’s internationally-recognised government on Saturday. It added that the country’s military did not possess such aircraft and it was “impossible to manufacture them locally””, this not directly contradicts the Bloomberg news by Mohammed Hatem. You cannot erect a drone solution in this short a time span, not even if you had all the Viagra in the world, so the tool erected setting of Iran trying new tools in the political and escalating statement arena regarding ‘drone strikes’ is more than an issue. When we see the news given from Almasirah Media Network with ‘Air Force Unveils New Drone, Sammad 3‘, are they the tool or, was the statement by The National who by their own words are ‘committed to serving the local UAE community‘ misled and they are misleading the UAE community? You see one of the two is true, not both. No matter which path is the real one, it is my personal opinion that none of this existed without Iran, they are in the middle of this and the other media sources are trying to steer clear as some are trying to ‘save’ an illusionary deal with Iran that was never a real prospect to begin with. No matter which one is true, the Yemeni population remains in the middle of it all. there is a second side to this, the events in the red Sea where a tanker was hit is now stopping transfer of oil via the Bab el-Mandeb strait, potentially upping oil prices. It is a clear intentional push for the US to get involved, especially after we were told “A huge tanker with a shipment of oil from Saudi Arabia bound for Egypt was damaged by a missile attack from the northern Bab el-Mandeb strait in the Red Sea. The Houthi rebels in Yemen, armed and financed by Iran, were responsible for the attack. It happened in the wake of the renewed exchange of threats between the United States and Iran, which could also hurt the oil market” (source: Haaretz), in addition we got “Iran’s Quds force chief Qassem Soleimani said on Thursday that the Red Sea was not secure with the presence of American troops in the area”, so there is a much louder setting that Iran is willing to escalate towards direct outspoken war. I reckon that as Europe is becoming meaningless, the direct involvement of Iran will turn defeat to victory. That is not only not given, there is every chance that the UAE and Saudi Arabia will make a united front, in addition, the naval actions could be bad times for Egypt, so there would be additional support for Saudi Arabia and the UAE. The questions will soon become, where does Qatar stand in all this and what are their options. They have their own worries as accusations more and more ridiculous are hitting the media. It seems that the Sydney Morning Herald is becoming the joke of independent journalism, whilst merely parroting that idiot Martin Ivens (as I personally see him in all this) on “In article published by The Sunday Times alleges the Qatar bid team used a PR agency and former CIA operatives to disseminate fake propaganda about its main competitors, the United States and Australia“, whilst the Sunday Times still has not given the people the millions of documents he stated he had with the previous accusations, so we can all optionally agree that Nine Networks is now wearing the pants in the new merger. That matters, because some are not merely tailoring to the needs of places like (censored name of sponsor), they are setting the stage for unsolicited change and through these events they are adding needlessly to pressures in the Middle East.

Pressures that need avoidance because the expression ‘If you have to fight, fight like a cornered cat‘ is a role that Qatar could be pushed into. I actually prefer the Dutch version of that expression which is ‘A cornered cat can move very unpredictable‘, that is more worrying, because the unsubstantiated accusation are an actual issue on a few levels now. so when we see “the alleged smear campaign included paying a professor $US 9,000 to write a damning report on the economic cost of a US World Cup, recruiting journalists and bloggers to promote negative stories in the US, Australian and international media, and organising grassroots protests at rugby matches in Australia“, we demand to see that report, as well as all other evidence; we need to be shown clearly where the lies in that report were as well as the other evidence. Is that not simple? Show us the ACTUAL evidence!

All these settings are important. We can vocally set the stage against Iran (like I am doing with both evidence as well as a comic look at the two images earlier), and I can look at the presented and i am using the published details available to me with all the settings that are open to the audience at large. I never proclaim to have all the wisdom in the world, yet hiding behind ‘unnamed sources’ and ‘unpublished evidence’ like the Sunday Times, whilst I regard them because of that as nothing more than a mere courtesan to sponsors, that is how I see their actions, when the need to investigate FIFA was there, these media buffs were all about the hooker in the bookcase, the entire setting of the media had become questionable. The setting of the Garcia report, whilst the newspapers and media failed to hammer down on Hans-Joachim Eckert, so when we got the ‘refused to publish on various legal grounds‘, who went after Hans-Joachim Eckert? the entire matter also involved the Qatar 2022 cup bids, so as it stands, we need to make sure that places like the Sunday Times and the SMH are now also optionally the spreaders of Fake News, but that is apparently not the case when they have their unnamed sources.

Even as I spoke out in the end against Qatar 2022, it is only because of the stage that Qatar found itself in. It is not up to me who got them there, some was all their own doing, but a larger part was the act of smear campaigns that we see now. Almost four years of smear campaigns. If we are to actually do something about it, then EVERY newspaper is to offer the 350-page report of Michael J. Garcia from September 2014 on their website with a full page 3 summary of the report. That is the first moment that we can start taking journalists serious again (possibly with the Sun as the one exception). It is my view that anyone who was part of misleading regarding Qatar, or in the other direction supporting in falsehood the Qatar bid should be barred for life from every official sport event. It is the only way and that is merely the one side-track that the Yemen situation now calls for. With Iran upping the stakes in Yemen and with alleged drone strikes on UAE and actual attacks on Saudi Arabia, how long until one of them sees a reason to lash out against Qatar? You see, the plot is also thickening when we see the Iran increasing non-oil trade with Oman by 136% in the last quarter alone. That is half a billion in value, now we can agree that every nation has and needs trade, so I would be the last one to state against it, yet there is every indication that Iran is trying to set the mood fir additional change. Some will remember the setting last year when we were offered “Bank Melli Iran and Bank Saderat Iran will resume their operations in the Omani capital Muscat which had halted during the sanctions that cut off Iran from the international financial network“, this is now seen against the news from March when we saw ‘Iran, Oman resolute to grow banking relations’ with the additional quote “Drafting an operational and practical program with opening joint accounts based on the national currencies of Iran and Oman, independent from foreign currencies, should be considered as one of the requirements of developing banking relations“, so what happens, when the setting of the national currencies becomes the foundation of a credit swap where oil is the determined value? It is merely one step away and the US crying for cheap oil is that one element that could make it happen. The US not acting against Oman, whilst knowingly allowing for the swapping of Iranian originated oil based CDO’s is not that far stretched, is it?

Now we have billions in funds, an operational drone team and additional Hezbollah populists trying to set the stage in Yemen. there is support for that view (to the smallest extent), Arab News two weeks ago gave us: “Yemen’s foreign minister has called on Lebanon’s caretaker government to “rein in” Hezbollah and its aggressive tactics in support of the Iranian-backed Houthi militia“, whilst in addition, whilst the National gave us last week: “The UAE Embassy in Beirut has denied claims made by Lebanon’s pro-Hezbollah Al Akhbar newspaper regarding an “Emirates Leaks” report that says Abu Dhabi is applying pressure on Muscat over the Qatar crisis. The embassy has called the leaked diplomatic correspondence from the UAE Embassy in Muscat “false” and said that it was aimed at creating tension with Oman“. We need to realise that the two are unrelated articles are merely that. One has apples, the other pears and the fact that they both represent pieces of fruit is no evidence, changing one of them into oranges does not behold additional truth that should be clear. Yet the stage where Iran decided to increase trade by 136% is a shown fact and Iran has been doing something similar with Turkey which has not given Turkey an additional amount close to $5 billion in the last 6 months alone. Iran is setting a trade stage where in the end, in light of their devaluation and monetary value can soon (or already) only be honoured with oil, how quaint!

It is not merely the plans in place, it is the funding that these projects require, that is where it seems to make sense, but it is not a given that those are the only paths that are being trodden. You see, there is still the Uranium enrichment program that is worked on. With those in the works, we see the need for serious amounts of cash, skills and equipment, all that from a setting where the infrastructure was no longer able to meet the financial needs and the commitment from Iran towards Yemen by the Iranian commander in chief shows that the next step is not that far away, they will need resources and there is now at least a partial setting in place where the facilitation is close to complete. From my point of view, lowering the pressures on Qatar allows Qatar to walk away from Iran as far as possible limiting the options that Iran has, and that is an essential requirement at present.

Even as we see several sources give us lines like: ‘Oman and Kuwait has taken a neutral position in the dispute involving Qatar‘, I am actually less and less convinced that Oman is completely neutral in all this. Is the trade merely growing sympathy in Oman, or is news from places like Sarfayt and Dhalkut changing the sentiment that the people in Oman have? I actually do not know, but something seems to be stirring in Oman, perhaps it is not a pro-Iran feeling, merely a lessened anti-Iran sentiment, they are not the same. What does matter is that all this is escalating giving Iran more options in Yemen, to counter that outside of a full scale event in Yemen is to take away the available fuel that Iran has and I think that removing pressure from Qatar is a first step in all this. Should this be successful, we might see a setting where Oman feels less comfortable having strong ties with Iran, which seems to serve everyone’s purpose (except Iran of course).

 

1 Comment

Filed under Finance, Media, Military, Politics, Science