Tag Archives: Cyprus

The European Axis of Evil

The term got phrased in 2002 by George W. Bush, it was a term to describe governments accused of helping terrorism, digging for weapons of mass destruction and so on. The list had Iran, Iraq and North Korea. Yet now 14 years later, some consider that Iraq is no longer that, the other two remain, or do they? In all this there is a new player, the player is Turkey. It is not because of their affiliation to Iran, although that does not help their case. It is that our good old pressie GW the act of intentional destabilisation. You see terrorism is all about destabilising and Turkey has had its hand in that for the longest of times. A well heard case of last week was the scuffle that the Greek Coast Guard went into last week. At http://greece.greekreporter.com/2017/07/04/turkey-tries-to-exploit-incident-of-greek-coastguard-firing-warning-shots-at-turkish-cargo-ship/ we see ‘Turkey Tries to Exploit Incident of Greek Coastguard Firing Warning Shots at Turkish Cargo Ship‘, with the quote “The Turkish Foreign Ministry condemned Greece for the incident, making reference to “dry cargo” being carried between the Iskenderun port to Izmir port. “We strongly condemn the unmeasured act of Greek authorities in this disgusting incident,” a Turkish foreign ministry statement said“, yet in all this, do you know what is the most surprising part? The part that instead of making a thorough search on this ship showing that there were no drugs and that there was no case (which might have embarrassed the Greek authorities a little), everything became about the shots on a cargo ship and the Turkish fleet sending three ships into the region. So instead of the 1978 ‘Midnight Express‘ where the authorities went overboard on the American smuggling the drugs, they seem to go soft and facilitating on the drug dealers from Turkish descent. Is that corruption or what? As for the part of ‘disgusting incident‘, when we compare the Greek Coast Guard stopping a possible drug smuggler versus the amount of Kurds casually murdered by Turkish troops. I know what gets my vote for ‘disgusting incident‘ and it will not be the Greek Coast Guard.

The second issue is Qatar. Now there are a few unknowns here in the general part of Qatar. I do not claim to know all the inns and outs of the events, yet when one nation pisses off the bulk of the OPEC nations and basically all the neighbours, there is an issue. When Iran suddenly comes to the ‘aid’ of Qatar, we can accept that Qatar is not relying on the best voice to make any claim they might have. For Turkey to walk in brazen (or if that high on testosterone?) to play ‘protector of the underdog‘ they are not aiding, they are destabilizing the situation. As we see on how the papers all claim “President Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday reaffirmed Turkey’s support for Qatar“, I remember the issues in 2002. America had been under attack and they needed their European ‘ally’ to grant them access to an air base. So what happened? Turkey thought it was a good moment to try some blackmail. Like nullifying all debts, large cash incentives and the list went on for a while. That was for me the first clear indication that a nation like Turkey had no business being part of the EU or given any of its privileges. Turkeys only concern is turkey, which is acceptable to some extent. I accept that any nation is in it to make its life and the life of its citizens better. Turkey just did that in a few too unacceptable ways. Basically at that point, Turkey became a facilitator and to the smallest extent a protector of the terrorists that had attacked America.

When we look at the June article in Al Jazeera, we see: “Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE and several other countries cut their ties with Doha on Monday, accusing it of supporting armed groups and their regional rival, Iran – charges Qatar says are baseless“. So is this merely about intelligence and evidence? Can 4 nations be so wrong? The issue added to this is that Turkey is less about support for Qatar, as it is to destabilize the situation. In addition, it seems to be less about ties with Qatar as it is about making stronger bonds with Iran. You see Turkey is not stupid, Iran with some of the sanctions lifted could be a haven of consumer exploitation in Iran, a large chunk of cash turkey is always greedy to get their fingers on (and with the state of their currency, who can blame them?), so as we see these iteration play out, we see two events where Turkey is not an example of positivity and merely another piece of evidence that Turkey has become a member of the Axis of Evil. In all this America is also active trying to resolve issues, where only 15 minutes ago, the first draft of meeting points for the meetings that US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will be discussing in Kuwait on Monday. Yet in all it is the other part, parts touched on yet not discussed in detail which is the accusation from the Saudi led group on “the continued events seeking to sabotage and undermine the security and stability in the Gulf region“. Another side to this was given by foreignnpolicy.com only mere hours ago. “Regardless of what the United States does, sharply increasing the vitriol towards Iran while at the same time laying siege to fellow GCC member Qatar will likely weaken the Saudi position and what is left of an already compromised Arab political order. Intended to take Iran down a notch, these actions instead will likely strengthen Tehran’s hand“, this is where the destabilising part of Turkey comes more into play. As Turkey commits military support, Iran can void their actions to interfere by merely calling Ankara to do so. It does not merely make Ankara the puppet of Tehran, a game they will be rewarded for later, it allows for any resolution into the entire matter to not become a reality and as such, the evidence on terrorist support by Qatar becomes more believable. In this the second side would be that both Turkey and Iran can give support to Yemen to bolster pressure. In this, my most inhumane statement of all-time! ‘Thank god for Cholera!‘ If Yemen was not hit by cholera the way it is, the pressure on Saudi Arabia would have been a lot higher and as such escalations by the 4 members would have been near impossible to avoid. In this the four would have additional options if a large humanitarian front towards Yemen would open up to give relief to the speculated 275,000 cholera cases in Yemen. The reason is not merely Yemen, the danger of Cholera moving from Yemen into Oman and Saudi Arabia is getting more and more likely, implying that once it gets into Saudi Arabia, the pressure becomes even greater. In all this Turkey is sending tonnes of supportive goods to Yemen, which looks pretty good on the Turkey resume and through that they are only increasing their visibility to both Iran and Qatar. As such, if the Saudi led group would send humanitarian assistance, it could diminish Turkey’s growing footprint and it would be the right thing to do. In all this we now see (yesterday that is) is that ‘Qatar ‘opens its books’ to Germany’s intelligence agency to clear up terrorism claims‘, (at http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/qatar-opens-its-books-germanys-intelligence-agency-clear-terrorism-claims-1629260), we see the part that I was all in favour of close to a week ago. I reckon it takes time to get the ball rolling in Qatar. So how will this unfold? You see, in the end there are two elements. Not just what Qatar has in intelligence, because there will always be an issue between home and foreign intelligence. We should be able to agree that the 4 nations are not doing this for mere fun, so there is a level of intelligence that there has been an issue and Iran is not known to be the nice guy in any of this, strengthening the issue that Saudi Arabia et al have. You see, the following quote “Germany’s foreign minister has said his country’s intelligence agency will audit Qatar to help clear allegations Doha supports terrorism“, “However, they decided to continue with the ongoing embargo, following Qatar’s rejection of a list of demands it was told to meet to end its isolation” as well as “The United Nations undersecretary general, Jeffrey Feltman, met Qatar’s minister of state for foreign affairs, Sultan bin Saad Al Muraikhi, on Thursday. He expressed concern over the continuation of the crisis and stressed the UN support of Kuwait for its mediation efforts to solve the situation, Al Jazeera reported“.

So, why these three?

First

The fact that Qatar might not have put any part of these issues of intelligence to storage (or to whatever intelligence recording process they have, does not mean that it does not exist. We have examples that go back to world war one proving that, yet the most visible one was ‘Das England spiel‘ where dozens of radio operators were arrested the moment they landed, it showed huge flaws in the system and even as the fable of intentional misdirection was given at some point by non-official players, we see that there are needed moments of not committing any intelligence to storage media. The fact that Iran only trusts Iran is partially supportive evidence of that. when data is not available we cannot state whether the issue does or does not exist, we cannot predict the data that is not there, we can only consider other evidence that the lack of data is more likely than not, to be intentional.

Second

In this needed path to find evidence, it does not mean that the opponents stop their actions, until clear evidence is given, the opponents are in denial and even when after all this time the data comes out, any evidence stating that Qatar had not been part of the Iranian actions, does not mean that the evidence is accepted. Merely because someone vouches for another does not mean that the voucher is valid. Tools can be found on any level and the absence of evidence does not make a person guilty of innocent, the application is in the eyes of the beholder and Iran has soured the milk for the longest of time in the region making the option of Qatar making any case of defence harder, not easier.

Third

The fact that Jeffrey Feltman and Sultan bin Saad Al Muraikhi met does not give too much credence on any level. No matter how UN American he seems to be, as President Trump had given ‘support’ to Saudi Arabia gives less value to the existence of Jeffrey Feltman in this particular case. There would have been a better situation if this case was taken over by a non-American. This is not an assault on Jeffrey Feltman himself. It is merely that Americans are now on both sides of the table. This is great when you are an arms dealer, slightly less great when you need trust on any side of the table. The fact that a mere week ago Jeffrey Feltman stated that ‘No report on violation of resolution 2231 by Iran‘, giving on that “the supply, sale or transfer to Iran of nuclear-related items” has been set as fact does not mean that he lied or knowingly misrepresented his office. It merely gives rise that he might not be regarded as a trustworthy source by Saudi intelligence. That is the nature of the game and in this it is a mere consequence.

In addition, German sources give us “So far Turkey has sent more than 100 planeloads of relief and most recently a cargo ship carrying 4,000 tons of food aid. Ordinarily, affluent Qatar relies heavily on Saudi Arabian food exports“, now there is no indication that Turkey is doing anything but that, yet is that a certainty that Saudi and Egyptian intelligence will rely on? I know some of these people, paranoid, the whole lot of them! (It is a job requirement I guess). In this Turkey might be showing their ‘good’ side, yet in effect they are merely a more and more destabilising factor in this mess. It is that very same source that gives us a gem. We get “Galip Dalay, research director at the Al Sharq Forum and associate fellow at the Al Jazeera Center for Studies, a think tank funded by the broadcaster, Turkey has lost the opportunity to claim neutrality and mediate“, which is at the heart of the matter. Turkey has plenty of clever people, some exceedingly so, why would a ‘throne creating opportunity’ be missed like that? The one act that could have propelled Turkey in a positive way was merely cast aside by sending in the troops. In all this the quote “Turkey’s support for Qatar has actually prevented a potential invasion or toppling of the current Qatari administration“, I do not believe this to be the case, or ever was a valid concern. Should any of the 4 invaded Qatar; they would have been painted as the black trump card, the card that holds no value. It would not have mattered that there is ‘Oil in the family’; it would be the dark mark none of the 4 players wanted. This, when weighed gives additional value that Turkey is the new player in the Axis of Evil. I took the long way round to show you as the elements have multiple sides and you need to see more than one angle in this. So as we see that the Cyprus talks have collapsed, the call to suspend the Turkey ascension talks to the European Union are all elements of inaction, destabilising actions and what could be nothing else than stupid actions in uplifting whatever view of Turkey was possible, these elements buy themselves are no reason to see Turkey as the new member of the Axis of Evil, yet together they are a clear pattern in setting a tone of chaos whilst effectively removing the options of clarity to the diplomatic board. There can be no other option in this. It is not merely a one stage view; it is the view of close to half a dozen theatres where Turkey is setting the negative tone.

How wrong am I?

That remains to be seen. I am not proclaiming to have all the wisdom in town (just a lot of it), what is a given is that the board is always larger than one person can behold and the latest acts by Turkey, in light of the trade deal with Indonesia might have been a positive one, were it not that the first path they take is regarding the defence industry and the production of a medium tank named ‘Kaplan’. I am thrilled for President Joko Widodo to get his economy running a little better, yet Germany started their economy in an upwards trajectory by pushing the weapons industry. In this Indonesia merely gets a nice opportunity, in regards of Turkey I am a lot less certain on their motives. In addition, as we see those ties strengthen, there will be additional options for Iran and Russia, not the people I prefer to have as a neighbour, as Indonesia is a mere 400 Km to the north. I have no issue with Indonesia as they offer the greatest Batik’s on the planet. Having Iran and Turkey 400Km to the north was not what I had in mind when I decided to plant a vegetable garden with a view to the North. Yet, that might just be my limited view on life and global events.

The mere question remains, when we consider the political plays turkey could have made, is there an option that Turkey is a mere puppet in a game they don’t really understand? #Justasking

 

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30 seconds until death

That is what goes through my mind right now. What happened in the last 30 seconds, whilst American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175 were heading to their prospective targets? The people who got to call one more time, those 30 seconds. You see Greece seems to be in that very same place. Whilst Greece is under crushing debts and payments, we see ‘Greece eyes market return as debt dispute still simmering‘ (at https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/greece-eyes-market-return-as-debt-dispute-still-simmering/2017/06/28/3c3124c4-5c14-11e7-aa69-3964a7d55207_story.html). When you see quotes like “Now those so-called yields are tumbling, a real sign that investors think lending to Greece is a viable option. Once Greece is able to borrow markets in the bond markets to fund its debt repayments, then it won’t need any more bailout cash from its creditors” you would see that Greece has reach the end of the rope and the financial institutions are ready to make one more killing in bonuses before killing of Greece.

So as we read: “What happens in the longer term is still the subject of heated debate“, we do get introduced to the fact that Greece will be adding debt to the total crushing debt it already has. It reads nice that we see a feigned humane IMF with “The IMF has stayed out of the current program, Greece’s third bailout, arguing that European lenders are setting unrealistic targets for the Greek economy instead of considering more generous debt relief“, you see the issue is that the lenders are commercial institutions, the IMF is not getting involved because it is money down the drain. We all know that. As far as I can tell, the next two generations will still be in an atmosphere of not being able to have a decent life. The second part “if the gap had narrowed, Delia Velculescu, the IMF’s top official for the Greek program, said: “We’re not there yet.”” So, even as the debt gap is not being traversed, Delia Velculescu knows that it is not happening. Yet new bonds will get out. And as I was attacked on that my premise was wrong, we see “She said it was “simply not realistic” to have Greece run a budget surplus after debt and interest payments of 3.5 percent of annual GDP over the coming few years, and 2 percent for the decades after” a statement that is misrepresentative, yet from that we get some figure, when the last GDP was set at 195.2 Billion (2015), that means that Greece will need to cough up 6.8 billion annually and 3.9 billion, which is merely the interest on the outstanding debt, for decades annually thereafter and that is only if the elected individuals don’t take a shortcut and borrow themselves in a corner all over again. And all this is coming from a population of 10 million people. So how many of them are paying taxation? How much taxation remains for the infrastructure? Now that we see the fallout gone, we see that the Greeks would have been better off outside of the Euro the moment they had that option. Now it will soon become the anchor that drowns them. And as the population ages, the tax incomes will dwindle even further. From my reckoning, their best position was 2 years ago, now as the curve of retiring people increases, the Greek government are in a pickle with no actual solution. There is every consideration that being a politician or a governmental official in Greece is soon to be the least wanted job in that nation. As I see it, the Washington Post gives us a story with caution, one that is more than a drama about the death of a nation. In addition, there is one element we all forget about. The element is Cyprus. Now, there are no real hopes that the Cyprus edition gets resolved, for the mere reason that the Greek part of Cyprus ads to that Greek GDP, as such Greece would never allowed it to be independent. Turkey might be in a similar state, but here it is about Erdogan’s need for territory. None will budge an inch, so as both sides are talking (read clashing) in the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana, we have to consider how this plays out. As I see it, with the current president of Turkey, it is entirely likely that a replay of the 1974 events will happen. That truth is partially shown in a separate Guardian article where we read: “Overall there is a sense that Turkey does want a deal. It knows it could gain a lot of goodwill out of it,” one well-briefed source said. “It’s going to require patience. The Turks tend to stick to their guns until very late in the day“, that is a likely scenario. I am more in a state where I expect things to be quiet for 10 days and after that Turkey does a 180 degree on the policies they were considering or might have implied to agree with. They are hoping the rest will not go to war over the 180 as there are too many issues playing for too many other nations. Turkey is not known to be a considerate nation; the entire escalation of Qatar is evidence of that, as are their actions in Kurdish Turkey.

The next part is weirdly enough from the Express, it was not my first choice, yet they make an interesting claim that I have not seen brought out anywhere else. The title ‘ECB WARNING: EU on BRINK of being ripped apart as Greece, Spain, Portugal inequality grows‘ is a known event, yet this was always going to be the case. In addition, we see two quotes of the EU favourite spending person, Mario Draghi. He gives us “ECB chief Mario Draghi claims inequality driving problems across European Union” and “Mario Draghi has warned jobs must be created across the EU“, which is exactly why we wanted him to stop spending 60 billion a month, money that was for all intent and purposes created out of thin air. He sounds all nice making the claim that ‘jobs need to be created’, yet when there is no economy, jobs cannot be created and the Greek solution where nearly everyone works for the government is also not a solution. The final gasser is given with “Policies in single member states will also help to bridge the gap, he claimed, asking individual leaders to propose better income and wealth redistribution policies“, the man who has been the centre facilitator for large corporations and set the astronomical income for financial institutions to debate ‘wealth redistribution policies‘. I can compare it to a man walking into a brothel where all the girls ask him whether he saw their virginity, because they lost it somehow. As far as I can see it, he is raising these issues as factors that will instigate fresh recessions, this is why he claims that the “The ECB’s ultra-easy monetary policy, designed to strengthen Economic recovery, was defended by Draghi. He said super low rates create jobs, foster growth and benefit borrowers“, the entire mess is what keeps the banks running, not the people. In all this Greece is in corner wearing a dunce cap. The fact that Mario Draghi made the claim earlier this week that Greece will not join the Quantative Easing program (QE) shows that the ECB has no faith that the Greek issues will be resolved, so as I personally see it, Greece would be allowed to sell more bonds just to push the percentages up again, which is not the view of a restoring economy, merely the near death of one. They are getting out of Greece what they can before it is too late. As you will see the news that Greek bonds are back, consider the question, who will be receiving the 4% sales commission and walk away whether it collapses or not. 80 million over a 2 billion bond hike is still a lovely sum, it would keep me in Ouzo and Raki for the rest of my life, which is unbalanced in more ways as the Greek population will be left without such options for 2 generations to come.

The news actually intensifies as per today, the NY Daily News (at http://www.nydailynews.com/newswires/news/business/greece-planning-return-bond-markets-ecb-article-1.3287503) , the news has become this desperate for Greece and the Greeks. The quote “Greece will return to financing itself on international bond markets with or without the support of the European Central Bank’s bond-buying program, the country’s finance minister said Thursday”, this will merely create chaos and the moment the bods are sold, the percentages will go through the roof. So as we now read that the ECB is not giving any support to one of its members, does anyone out there still doubt the need for Brexit? In my view Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos is playing a very dangerous game and the only one he will hurt for generations is Greece and the Greeks. So when I see: “What we need to do is ensure that the investment community knows there will be a program of access to the markets”, which is delusional, because Greece is no longer a player, the previous administrations made very sure of that. Unless you find the next truly new idea, Greece is no longer a player. The Greek governments (past and present) made sure of that and the weird false information we see in some cases have been false nearly 100% of the time, this is not a great track record to rely on. The entire move of upgrading Greece to ‘Caa2’ was a mistake. I wonder when other EC governments demand that Moody presents the raw data and the findings on the entire upgrade process. How many holes can we see in that assessment? Do I need to remind you all that Moody was one of the so called ‘key enablers of the financial meltdown’? At https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/GPO-FCIC/pdf/GPO-FCIC.pdf we see: “Moody’s put its triple-A stamp of approval on 30 mortgage-related securities every working day. The results were disastrous: 83% of the mortgage securities rated triple-A that year ultimately were downgraded”, that is the same place that now upgrades Greece, whilst the last time Greece went back on the market it became a disaster and someone ended up with a 50 million bonus. So is that the source of acceptance? In all this we also see Nasdaq throwing speculative fuel on the fire with “There was some speculation about a rating upgrade, but what was really a surprise was that positive outlook, giving a chance for another upgrade” (at http://www.nasdaq.com/article/greek-10year-yields-hit-lowest-since-2009-after-moodys-upgrade-20170626-00205), so based on what is that, because Greece basically has no future, not with this debt. Can we allow the European Community to sit idly by proclaiming to be one whole continent whilst it hands out trillions of euros over these two waves of unadulterated spending? A spending that is not based on inferiority of substance, yet 100% flawed. In all that spending Greece is not considered, they must rely on the exploitative vultures of the Bonds world. As I personally see it ultimate proof that Greece is being fed to the vultures. So whilst we read about Mario Draghi mentioning ‘wealth redistribution policies‘, we see that Greece is taken out of the mix. Is that a Europe you signed up for? The United Kingdom did not and it is moving out. As France decided to trust an investment banker as president, they now lost that option to seek an actual national identity. Even as we see reports that Italy is moving away further from leaving the EU, there is no doubt that the coming year will be crucial to Italy. Apart from a collapsed banking system, the pressure due to refugees keep on upping the levels of pressure in Italy and as  such something will buckle, it is merely a question of time, yet how this will unfold cannot be stated at present, it is an unknown. No matter how this plays out, it will not make issue better for Greece, it merely will push economic opportunity down as European pressures mount, the inequality in Europe not being the smallest of issues. That view is enforced from Spain, even as the economy rises slightly, we now see reports from Madrid giving us “under-24s earned on average €11,228 gross, a 5.1% drop on the previous year. The 25- to 29-year-old range earned €16,064, a 1.6% fall on 2014, while the 30- to 34-year-old group earned €19,597, 3% less than the year before. Finally, those aged between 35 to 39 were paid €22,397, a 2.3% drop on 2014”, so as a few more people enter the work force, they end up getting less than the ones they replaced (source: El Pais). This will also drag the quality of life down more and more as the cost of living is still going up. In all this Greece is passed by on both economy and quality of life. It is another piece of evidence that the speculated foresight for Greece was wrong and incorrect and I fear for the Greeks who have to pay for the fallout that follows the next bond ‘rush’.

 

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In This War!

We look at the news that is now taking on a she said, she said path, whilst he said is ignored towards what another he is stating. This is not a battle of sexes (which is a nice change). No this is almost like the US Senate versus Congress (also known as the fruits and nuts department of US politics), this is British politics in the Brexit phase that is now following. People dragging their feet, people going over simple narrow-minded seeding of statements whilst throwing the custard pies in as many faces as possible. It is like watching toddlers getting off the rocking chair. In all this there are also corporate players who have been hiding behind others whilst spreading unsolicited memo’s leaving them in the open to read with a ‘top secret‘ stamp on it. It almost feels like the GCHQ soap that we saw in Cheltenham 1991 (could be 1989 or 1990).

Anyway, when we hold people to account for their statements we will get these ‘miscommunication’ issues which will waste everybody’s time and it will not get anything done. That first part is seen in the Guardian in an opinion piece by Toby Helm (at http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/sep/10/brexit-camp-abandons-350-million-pound-nhs-pledge). My issue started with “dropped their pre-referendum pledge of a £350m-a-week spending bonanza for the NHS“. Let’s be clear here! Nigel Farage has stated on several occasions that the 10 billion pounds (34 million a day), should not go towards the EU, it should be spend in the UK on people for the UK. In addition, he stated on Good Morning Britain that he could not guarantee that it (£350 million a week) would go to the NHS. That was months ago! Even earlier (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bkr_Qjey8s8), we see Nigel Farage talking about the debate that is required around NHS. I believe he is right, in all this the debate he opened is one that the Tories and Labour aren’t stating they are slinging mud. In that part we see that Nigel was promising to put 3 billion (out of the 10 billion) towards the NHS. It was an intent to do!

He literally said ‘we could put 3 billion pounds‘ (around 5:55 into the story). Means it was not a given, just an option! In this Nigel Farage was right. Labour and Conservatives had ideas which meant borrowing more money. Also, let me remind the readers that it was Labour who stuffed up the NHS IT program costing the tax payers 11 billion pounds. It was a complete failure and large loss, one of the largest the NHS ever faced.

Now of course we can sling mud all over and as a Conservative I guarantee you that you will lose at that point. The NHS is on the verge of collapse and neither side has done anything to truly take care of business. UKIP sees it as a disgrace and so it should be, because it has been known for over 15 years that the UK is largely an aging population, meaning the pressures on the NHS will only increase, that while it is being drained. In this we also need to take a look at the TTIP and the dangers it poses. We can try to have faith in the marketing joke the EU is when we see the focal point that is useless (at http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/docs/2015/january/tradoc_153010.4.7%20Pharmaceuticals.pdf). This is especially seen when we see the elements around protecting Intellectual Property:

– Companies to profit from their research and remain amongst the most competitive in the world- Patients to benefit from new medicines.
We won’t negotiate anything in TTIP which would:

– Upset this delicate balance, or
– Increase costs for EU countries

The TTIP is about profit, especially for American Pharmaceutical companies!

Places like EFPIA are not lying to you, they are just misrepresenting the needs. Because a strong TTIP is not what they state ‘How a Strong Pharmaceutical Chapter in TTIP will Benefit the EU‘, it gives massive powers to the Pharmaceutical industries, whilst stopping generic medication from getting in. And here is the crux for the NHS, to get part of their budgets to meet up with reality, there will be a massive need for generic medication. For over 2 years I have pleaded to get stronger ties with India that has a growing market of generic medical solutions. A partial solution can be found here! Now, it will not solve all, there are still patented medicinal solutions we need and they will be bought, yet the fact that pharmaceutical industries want another 20 years of exclusivity is just not proper, not realistic and not acceptable. The US should have cleaned house in that market decades ago, but they were only focused on flaccid politicians requiring Viagra. Now that the game is up they all want a little more (read: twice as much). This is not how patents are supposed to work, they never were!

Consider the following two quotes: “The EU and India are taking steps to end a trade row sparked by an EU ban of 700 Indian pharmaceutical products after New Delhi cancelled talks on a free trade accord earlier this month“, which was in August 2015 by the way! As well as “Modi personally argued that the long-stalled talks on a free trade accord should be revived, India’s turnaround puzzled the 28-nation bloc, which insisted the ban was a minor, technical issue unconnected to trade“, it was all about the product, not about trade, the issue that the EU licking the heels of Washington gives us “the delays risk leaving India isolated. While Modi is trying to double India’s global exports to $900 billion in five years, Europe’s top negotiator now spends more time on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) with Washington“, you see, this 900 billion market is stopping an almost 2 trillion market of US pharmacy. Even if it is not all UK, what would you rather see? The NHS spending 90 million, or 2 billion on the same amount of medication? Let’s not forget it is down for over 13 billion at present. The NHS needs this generic solution and at present having strong ties with India makes a lot more sense than the ties with the US that are bringing the UK down, all because they would not clean their own stables!

This is and remains the foundation of Brexit, so when we see the Guardian quote “Anna Soubry, the pro-Remain Tory MP and former minister for small business, said it was outrageous that the Leave campaigners had “peddled that lie” during the campaign and were now quietly abandoning it“, we need to tell Anna Soubry that she needs to stop whining like a politician and start giving out papers that clearly define on how the NHS can be stopped to collapse, because as a fellow Tory she does know that from the moment the Tories came to power in 2010, too little has been done to revive the No Holy Sanctum, so actions are required. The fact that the previous administration from 1997 onwards also made its shares of mistakes as well as waste an additional 10 billion, means that massive effort needs to go into the NHS, having to listen to a whining Anna Soubry (in this matter) is a waste of everybody’s time. I am actually not happy to phrase it this way, because Anna has had quite the political career. Not into the limelight for too much, but I always saw her as upcoming House of Lords material, mainly because she has been outspoken on more than one occasion, at times this is how we hope our Lords would be. I never minds whether a person was right or wrong, just that they would be an evolving wisdom. Those vague stating politicians (as too many are) would never be Lords material, Anna still is in my eyes. This does not mean I will agree on her, or on my party. Things need to get done and too many aren’t getting it done.

In addition, we see all these financial doomsayers who are now resetting the view of Brexit in less negative ways. It is not as bad as they thought it was. This is their view on managed bad news. Another piece of the puzzle, where too many people were trying to demand that the Status Quo remain. When spending has not had the incentive of growth and managed bad news was used to dim the impact, now we see the opposite where their doom is not happening and now they are revising the numbers upwards (at https://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/sep/09/city-banks-revise-brexit-doom-and-gloom-forecasts). Here we see the ‘bitches’ of Wall Street: Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse revising their numbers as the trade deficit is now falling for the UK and that gap is now optionally turning into the momentum of a better economy. So, is my view too extreme when we see the quote “Morgan Stanley initially forecast the economy going negative by 0.4% in the third quarter of 2016, but this week changed that to expectations of 0.3% growth“. This makes me state ‘How stupid or non-comprehending is your staff?‘ I would like to add personally to James P. Gorman: “You now have 7 quarters of data showing that managed bad news is never a real solution and that the Status Quo of finance is a mere illusion. So will you in the near future clean house and start being a visionary instead of remaining a facilitator?

I know, diplomacy has never been my forte, yet as Apple is likely to lose up to a 2% market share over the coming tax year, he needs to wake up and kick the right people into gear before he has to do a negative 2 trillion dollar speech, and perhaps I might just have oversimplified the problem for both you and him!

These are only parts of the solution, but we need to tackle them one at a time. Because the intricate mess both sides of the isle is trying to make them will not solve anything. I will go one step further, I am almost driven to get one additional degree in Medicine, move to the UK and work at the NHS trying to resolve the problems! You see, one of my lifelong idols is Lord Baden-Powell. I was never a boy scout (in more than one way), but I have always taken one of his quotes to heart “Try and leave this world a little better than you found it!” It is the master of all thoughts, because it does not make you solve things, it is not my burden, just leaving it a little better, a little cleaner is all we all need to do. The simplicity is that if all 68 million Britons do just that, we could all turn the UK into the paradise it once was and can be again in almost no time at all.

The simplicity of any solution is the one step you actively take! Because when it is done you take the next step! This is what happens when we are not stopped for too long by too many managers trying to figure out WHAT to do, just to start doing it. That is the brilliance of Brexit. That step has been taken, now we take the next step and the one after it. So many politicians have been too worried about looking good that they forgot about actually doing anything good. I reckon that the inactions towards the NHS and housing are ample pieces of evidence to show that I am right, and the Mud Ladle of Blame goes to both sides of the isle.

In all this the one massive reason for me to remain towards the Brexit side is the one no one seems to discuss, or perhaps the press is being told not to dig too deep into that side. You see, one of my major issues has been and still is Mario Draghi. Bloomberg gets close with the quote “About three months ago, the Draghi-led European Central Bank started buying corporate bonds in the region for the first time. The results have been dramatic and, at times, alarming” (at https://www.bloomberg.com/gadfly/articles/2016-09-07/companies-are-getting-paid-to-be-rated-junk-in-europe). You see, the simple clarity is that you cannot use a credit card spending over a trillion thinking it will have no impact of your credit score. The quote “Investors are now literally paying European companies to borrow. Sanofi, a French drug maker, just became the first nonfinancial private company to issue debt that yields less than zero” as well as “Bonds of some investment-grade European companies now carry negative yields” are just two examples of the mess and the nightmare that will soon hit too many places. Then there is “Less clear is how investors are justifying purchases of junk-rated bonds that promise nothing and come with big risks“, which is what we saw on Cyprus and in Greece. No one is held accountable and those screaming for more money have no idea and no option to pay it back. It was never a solution! So Draghi spending a trillion plus leaving the credit card to be added to the workload of his successor is not ever a solution. Moreover, the EU nations have to come up with paying it back somehow, so leaving this collection of spenders seems much better than to play possum and ignore that credit card, because that debt comes with interest and there is not one government in the EU who doesn’t have their own national credit card maxed out, which means that our children will have to work of this debt. That is not a world I ever accepted to be in!

Now consider the last quote “Does this mean risky debt in Europe getting less risky? No. Fundamentals are, in fact, deteriorating, according to the Bank of America strategists, with investors recovering less from defaulted debt than they have in the past“, which is partially the problem and the issue I have with the USA. Wall Street is setting up a scenario that is reminiscent of the old Pyramid schemes, with the difference that they quickly want to cash in one more time and breaking free from whatever remains. It is wrong on many levels, so as there is one more round of bonds and stimulus, the previous instigators cash in and get out with as much as possible, knowing that they will survive in the next two decades whilst the ones not getting out drown and lose all. This is why the Draghi method is so dangerous and we need to get away from it Brexit was part one, although Frexit (part two) is not a guarantee, the fact that Sarkozy is now ready to set a referendum if elected should be ample warning for the US (read: Wall Street) that the status quo route is no longer acceptable and too many nations are willing to let it all fall back to nationalism if pushed, should be more than enough for Wall Street to find a ‘live with the loses solution‘. Something we all know will never happen!

So in this war there is the immediate need to stop misinformation and above all get something done, in this case fix the NHS, it should be the only issue on the agenda of both isles for the rest of the year, that whilst Brexit moves forward. It is a tall order to deliver no matter how you slice it, but whomever does will have the support of the people for a long time to come, because that aging population will still hold the majority for well over a decade.

 

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In anticipation of

Yesterday’s news is glowing like only Plutonium can, it touches, it infects and it spreads. The Panama papers are a hot item, radioactive hot. The only place I skip on judging is Iceland. It was the only European nation that achieved a near utopian standard of living, so the impact from the collapse in 2008 will still enrage its population for a very long time to come. If you doubt this than take a look at Oscar winning movie ‘Inside Job’, the one movie that is the biggest eye opener on economies in the history of documentaries. On the other side we get the biggest joke in UK politics, namely Jeremy Corbyn. His quotes on ‘how only Labour will protect Britain’s families’. Perhaps Mr Corbyn will take a look at his party’s history. How Labour in the age of 1997-2010 achieved absolutely NOTHING in changing the wheel of tax havens. So when Jeremy is voicing his thoughts, he should take a long hard look in the mirror. Any defence or deflection is pointless and absent of values. Both sides have not done their job in stopping tax shelters.

Most important is that no laws seem to have been broken. Yes, we now see that there are a few issues, yet when we see the Guardian (at http://www.theguardian.com/news/2016/apr/03/mossack-fonsecas-response-to-the-panama-papers), we see: “Finally, the instances you cite in your reporting represent a fraction – less than 1% – of the approximately 300,000 companies that Mossack Fonseca has incorporated in its over 40 years in operation“, that is the actual case in all this. A system that is allegedly 99% correct and above levels, is now under scrutiny, through no less than criminal acts. Now the weirdest case in statistical history. We are looking at 300,000 cases. In the dataset that is well over 2.5 terabyte we see a fact evolving that is now soon becoming an interesting side.

Here begins a level of speculation that you must comprehend, there is little evidence, only suspicions. I hereby warn the reader to not take what follows as given!

One source (fusion) is giving us: “So far, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) has only been able to identify 211 people with U.S. addresses who own companies in the data (not all of whom we’ve been able to investigate yet). We don’t know if those 211 people are necessarily U.S. citizens

Metro gave us this quote: “But weirdly, considering it’s the world’s largest economy, there was nobody from the USA. Is that because America is a beacon of transparent business dealings?“, the second quote is “Stefan Plöchinger, digital editor of German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung which obtained the leaks, shot out this teaser earlier today, saying: ‘Wait. Just look at what’s coming…’” (at http://metro.co.uk/2016/04/04/why-are-there-no-us-people-in-the-panama-papers-5794114).

One side states that more is coming, yet even under these properties even the term ‘there is more to come‘ becomes a highly suspicious consideration.

Now we get to the speculative side. You see, yesterday I made mention on the Libor scandal, yet I did not mention the part I speculated on initially (on April 1st 2013), in an article titled ‘60% confiscated and counting in Cyprus!‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2013/04/01/60-confiscated-and-counting-in-cyprus/), at that time I wrote: “On 30th November 2010 Jullian Assange revealed that the next target of his whistle-blowing website will be a major U.S. bank. The same date a red notice was issued by Interpol. It was around that time that the hunt for Assange intensified by a lot. Perhaps the one bank was just the beginning? If we look back at the issues we know now, then there is a chance that someone made mention of the LIBOR percentage tweaking issue. If this is what frightens the US, then consider the consequences of a system like LIBOR being manipulated through the total value of trade. If that would have been off by 11.2%. Out of $1000T (UK and USA combined) then that difference would be $112T.

I would love to get 1% finder fee of that! It would make me the FIRST Trillionaire in history (not bad for a person only dreaming to be a Law Lord someday)

It was my speculation that Libor was not limited to the UK. It was my speculation that the US, as it was in such deep debt, that it started to manipulate the total value of trade, creating an 11.2 trillion dollar buffer. Here the danger for them was that the UK could illuminate that and that would have made the US option impossible and it would go bankrupt overnight (I still want that finder’s fee!). It was a speculation, yet founded on some data I saw, the data implies (cannot confirm or prove this), that packages were reset so that they would not falter, even though collapsed mortgages were added to them. See it as a leave one extra in. A repackaged deal where 70% had not yet collapsed sold at bargain price.

So how does this connect to the Panama papers?

Ask yourself a simple question, a firm like Mossack Fonesca would have extensive protection, firewalls and other shapes of protection. When you represent 300,000 firms worth trillions, only an idiot would rely on a laptop running on Windows 98 (a mere exaggeration). These people are not idiots, they are a lot brighter than I ever could be. This now raises the question how that much data got out. This raises the question, is this truly just about tax havens, or is this about a clear message from the US. The message is ‘Do not leave the EU, or else!‘ a message aimed at the UK and at France. Germany is willing to give aid, because for the most Germany does not want anyone to leave the EU. I personally see this step as a desperate act form large players who would not accept any responsibility from acts of immense stupidity. A path that evolved clearly due to inaction regarding Greece.

The fact that US people are not (yet) mentioned is because the US needs its wealthy with extreme desperate shortages. A nation (the USA), who is at present perhaps so close to bankruptcy that it will take desperate acts. So is the USA behind the hack on Mossack Fonesca? There will never be any clear evidence on that. There is no way to prove this one way or another, this is all clear speculation from my side.

Yet, is this so far-fetched? I personally do not think so, especially when we consider the timing. So as the UK tax havens might undergo slimming down, we could suddenly see another batch of US deregulations set for the creation of taxation, wealth building and retrenching. So will this happen? Is my speculation way too wild? I am not certain, you see, even I question myself. I would have had a lot less faith in all this if we would have seen the ‘revelation’ of Americans. That absence is what fuels certain paths of speculation. When we consider the amount of bonuses that many bankers in the US legally got away with gives weight to all this, in a group of 300K people and this group 0.01% currently American is too low and too unbelievable at present. There is of course all the chance that those names have been held back, time will tell!

So beyond the speculation we see the facts, because the facts matter. And the press is massively ignoring the impact that Brexit has, not just on the EU and their Euro, but it is the value of the US Dollar that is equally hit when that currency gets hit with the impact the Euro would expected to receive. President Obama’s nightmare has officially begun, because the impact is likely to impact the US dollar before he stops being an elected official. So tactically there is not the question of Mossack Fonseca and the tax shelters/havens. A tactical question that Bloomberg answered on January 27th 2016 (at http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-01-27/the-world-s-favorite-new-tax-haven-is-the-united-states) where we see ‘Moving money out of the usual offshore secrecy havens and into the U.S. is a brisk new business‘, it is followed with the quote “It is now moving the fortunes of wealthy foreign clients out of offshore havens such as Bermuda, subject to the new international disclosure requirements, and into Rothschild-run trusts in Nevada, which are exempt“, so ask yourself the following question: ‘Are the Panama papers with the details from Mossack Fonseca a mere hack, or is this a coup d’état by big players like Rothschild moving money into the US, forcing the wealth and the powerful in Europe to face the danger that Brexit will soon impact their money and that must not be allowed’.

This last tactic is again speculation, but it is a tactical one, and it is supported by some facts. In that regard this tactic is old, hundreds of years old, because it was Niccolo Machiavelli who stated: “Never attempt to win by force what can be won by deception

I wonder what ‘revelations’ the Panama papers will bring, more important the parts the press will trivialise into the trashcan?

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Is the truth out there?

That is the question that sprung to mind, when the article ‘Brexit could cost £100bn and nearly 1m jobs, CBI warns‘ (at http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/mar/21/brexit-could-cost-100bn-and-nearly-1m-jobs-cbi-warns) crossed my screen an hour ago. Of course it then continues with the subtitle ‘Report conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers for the CBI‘, perhaps you remember that firm named PwC? The people behind the books kept for Tesco. The firm the press avoids like the plague (especially when digging into Tesco issues). A report for the CBI no less. When we look at wiki we get ‘Confederation of British Industry is a UK business organisation, which in total speaks for 190,000 businesses’, so basically, because businesses are afraid to export their articles, we get this level of scaremongering. And let’s be honest, when Lehman Brothers is not available, PwC is all that remains. The Wiki reference will be explained shortly.

The first paragraph states “Leaving the European Union would cause a serious shock to the UK economy that could lead to 950,000 job losses and leave the average household £3,700 worse off by 2020, a report commissioned by the CBI business lobby group has warned“, I personally consider this to be a blatant lie!

There is NO WAY that there is any clear data on this event. The reason is simple. This situation has never happened before so there are questions, that is a given, yet what they predict is that 2 times 100% of exports that the UK ships to the USA becomes lost revenue. This is just ludicrous. Leave it to the place that embellished 110 million in revenue for Tesco will be able to lose 1000 times that amount in goods and services for the CBI. I am merely speculating here. I wish I could give you more, but the press is very engaged into not confronting PricewaterhouseCoopers on their actions.

The second paragraph “an analysis conducted by accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers for the CBI said that Brexit could cost the UK economy £100bn – the equivalent of 5% of GDP – by 2020 and would cause long-lasting economic damage from which it would never recover“, let take a look at the parts PwC (as I see it) hides behind ‘could cost‘ meaning that it might, it is not a given. the second part ‘would cause‘, means that if they lose 100 billion then it would impact the economy, which we can all agree with, but that level of loss is NOT a given. Lastly there is ‘long-lasting economic damage from which it would never recover’, ‘would never’ is also not a given, consider that thanks to British Labour, who caused a massive part of the fourteen hundred billion in debt, on that part 100 billion will have an impact, the economy will recover, yet in all fairness, at what speed? We all agree that this massive extra level of debt is not a good thing, but it all began with ‘could cost‘ so it is not a given! The CBI, like frightened little sissies are trying to sway voters through fear. You see, if these businesses have an actual product to share, people will buy it.

They then continue to push more fear that people would lose between £175 and £300 a month. I would be shocked, we all would be shocked. Yet again there is ‘could be lower‘, meaning it is not a given. When I read “Carolyn Fairbairn, the CBI’s director general, said: “This analysis shows very clearly why leaving the European Union would be a real blow for living standards, jobs and growth“, my response would be ‘Carolyn Fairbairn, we know you are high and mighty with previous position at the  Competition and Markets Authority, Lloyds Banking Group and the UK Statistics Authority, so if you truly stand behind these analyses you will give us all (in open data) the raw data, the analyses and the conclusions with data connections‘.

I feel certain that we will see all kinds of weighting, forecasting and predictive modelling. As I see them, they will be utterly useless, for the mere reason I gave at the start of my blog “This situation has never happened before“, there will be turmoil, there will be a time of flux, but this forecast of utter blackness on non-given facts and shady forecasts is just completely out of bounds.

You see, I went to Wiki for a reason, when we go to their website we get a few issues (and initially their website was unreachable for about 15 minutes). The first one is from 15th of March (at http://news.cbi.org.uk/news/cbi-to-make-economic-case-to-remain-in-eu-after-reaffirming-strong-member-mandate/), here we get the quote “80% of CBI members think being in EU is best for their business – ComRes survey“, now, consider the following two elements, first is the ‘given’ fact on their site “CBI’s relationship with 190,000 businesses of all sizes across the UK“, now consider that survey where 80% wants to stay within had the following quote: “The survey had 773 responses among small, medium and large firms across the whole of the UK. It reveals 80% of CBI members, when weighted to reflect its membership – including 71% of small and mid-sized business members – believe that the UK remaining a member of the EU would be best for their business. Overall, 5% say it is in their firms’ best interests for the UK to leave the EU, with 15% unsure“, So out of 773 responses, 116 were not sure, so only 658 were certain one way or another, so the 80% comes from that group?

In addition, the fact that I, in 24 years have never seen ANY survey been answered for 100%, so how many answered it, how were the numbers given and how can any of the numbers have ANY level of reliability? That is even before we start looking into the questionnaires some people tend to make, which is often enough not that neutral to begin with.

All these thoughts took 45 seconds to form, after which I needed 30 minutes to look into some of the known givens whilst Graham Norton was playing in the background. The biggest fun I had was considering the part where the CBI is basically stating between the lines that “UK products are so shaite, that it can only be sold under EU membership“, is that not so Mrs Fairbairn? I believe that UK produce is high, high enough that there will always be a demand and high enough that people will go out of their way to get it. The gaming column last week that had a go at Brexit earlier was eager to ignore the fact that some of the better games developers are British, there is British Beef, British Lamb, the UK foundation in vegetables and fruits. The United Kingdom has always had a good stock and a proud tradition. I think that these traditional times can return the UK to better times.

That is also a speculation on my side. You see, this is the one time that the Telegraph has a fair point (yes, this rare occurrence happened on February 23rd 2016), There is the quote “The only appalling part is that we import so much poor quality foreign food at the expense of our own farmers“, I believe that there is a deeper truth. Obesity comes from junk food and from bad quality food. Yes, produce might rise a little in price, yet when you get the same quality ingredients from eating only 50% of the amount of junk goods you used to eat because it was cheaper, I believe that the overall health of the British population would also go up (read: lowering obesity). Mrs Fairbairn could have given that information too, you see the CBI site claimed to be connected to 190,000 businesses, so how many of them are farms?

This is no longer the age of Tesco (thanks to PwC to some extent), in addition, it stops being the place for Aldi and Lidl, it will slowly return to being the place of the neighbourhood grocery and butcher. I have nothing against Aldi and Lidl, yet their models do not run on the small local farms, their margins (low margins mind you) comes from bulk retail from big portion purchasers to deliver to all stores. It is a fair model, yet after Brexit there will be a change, their margins will fall, that is a reality, but if this opts for small business owners to rise from the ashes, the Brits in general will all win, we would see a need for jobs, not a loss of jobs. Again, this is speculative on my side, yet I do not go about scaring you readers like the CBI is doing through PricewaterhouseCoopers.

So, how about my own statement: “I personally consider this to be a blatant lie“?

As I see it, this report has issues, possibly a whole lot of them and if that is not the case, Carolyn Fairbairn would (read: should) have all the data ready for us all. When we see this level of incomplete information, giving rise to the possibility of misinformation the reference to ‘blatant lie’ is a fair given one, as I see it of course.

Now, mind you, the CBI page has the full report ready (at http://news.cbi.org.uk/news/leaving-eu-would-cause-a-serious-shock-to-uk-economy-new-pwc-analysis/leaving-the-eu-implications-for-the-uk-economy/), a 79 page document, so what does that give us and why was that not in the Guardian (as far as I could tell)?

We see the following under the key findings:

  • We have assessed the potential economic impacts of a UK exit from the EU under two possible scenarios
  • We estimate that total UK GDP in 2020 could be between around 3% and 5.5% lower under the FTA and WTO scenarios respectively than if the UK remains in the EU (interesting is how ‘we estimate that’ was not in bold)
  • The negative impact represents a reduction of around £55-100 billion in UK GDP, at 2015 values

And the final bullet point was “As with any economic modelling exercise, our estimates are subject to many uncertainties“, which is actually the core of it all, too many uncertainties, which gives additional weight to my statement.

Yet how were these numbers derived?

You see, when we see ‘Table 2.1: Exit scenario results – percentage difference in real UK GDP from levels in counterfactual scenario‘, we think we have something here, but on what core business is this founded? Is this on raw data sets? On aggregated data? You see, PwC have done all kinds of reports where they were overly optimistic, is the idea that they are intensely overly conservative on any of these numbers (by request of the CBI) and that the negative numbers are actually quite too negative? The fact that they are making predictions until 2030, whilst so far many firms resorting to analyses have been unable to make any decent prediction 3 years into the future, they ended to be overly optimistic again and again by more than one percent (try remembering Greece and Cyprus). Then there is: “A vote to leave the EU would create economic and political uncertainty that could last for several years while the UK Government negotiates the terms of its exit from the EU as well as new trade arrangements with non-EU countries“. Here is the kicker: the report did not once, I say again not once properly discuss the option of growing economies by promoting a growth interaction between Commonwealth nations. The UK stands not alone! Her siblings Australia, Canada, New Zealand, India et al, still need goods too. Whilst we see the ‘BS’ (Belonius Substance) from America regarding how the UK must stay within the EU, the UK can decide to collaborate with India on Generic medication. Now suddenly we get some individual in a white condo going on how friends should remain friends (that individual tends to be addressed as President of the United States), so here is one side of commerce that would ‘suddenly’ open doors for all kinds of trade.

The bibliography has a fair amount of theory references, and even though their existence, or their academic value is not in question, what is in question is the PDF we are looking at, especially when we see ‘Figure D.5: Working age population projections under the WTO and FTA scenarios and counterfactual‘, we see these numbers and graphs, but from what dataset? Where do we see any reference to the data population used, especially when we see a collection of graphs from various sources but with no clear reference to the numbers that these predictions are based on? In one example starting on page 47, we see ‘C.1 Economic context and key issues‘, with a reference to three graphs from two different suppliers. This gives me a few additional question marks (and it should leave you with even more questions). You see, if 80% wants to stay in Europe as stated by the CBI, whilst they had less than 800 responses, how does that hold any weight to the fact that they, on their own site state “the CBI’s relationship with 190,000 businesses of all sizes across the UK gives us a unique insight into what the result will mean for UK prosperity“, which means that 80% of the 0.4% of the businesses that decided to answer the call of the survey. I think I have raised enough questions for you the reader to be a lot less worried in this case!

Now, I am not stating that there will not be any issues, because the UK will face issues, but in equal measure the UK will stop making massive donations to a system that does not hold some of its members properly to account. It is like carrying buckets of water to the sea, an empty gesture that is a clear waste of time and money.

By the way, that report has a very interesting by-line which is shown at the very end (page 79): “This publication has been prepared for general guidance on matters of interest only, and does not constitute professional advice“, so if that is the moment of non-accountability than my final words are towards the writer of the article Julia Kollewe and especially her boss (or the boss of her boss, Katharine Viner): ‘How could you have been so stupid to go with this article. From my point of view, as a blogger tends to be a subjective one, it is a hack job, nothing more than mere anti Brexit material‘. As a newspaper you should have known a lot better! The fact that Julia writes “By taking a clear stance on Brexit, the CBI differs from the smaller business lobby group the British Chambers of Commerce, which is trying to be impartial. It recently suspended its director general, John Longworth, from his post after he suggested that Britain would be better off outside the EU“, yes, they might have done this, and they did it in what I regard a shady and shoddy way!

The article in the Guardian and the report leaves us with a few questions regarding Carolyn Fairbairn, the CBI as well as a few questions regarding the editorial of the Guardian. I hope that at the very least that part has been brought to the surface by me writing this article.

To all a lovely evening and whether you believe in Brexit or Bremain, make sure that you go towards the referendum properly informed!

 

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A seesaw for three

I have heard many things in my life, there was a motorcyclist with a lack of discipline for speed run straight into Bus 70 in Rotterdam (the Netherlands), the consequence is that his brain got tactiled by his motor helmet; neither him nor his helmet was able to overcome the pressure of driving into the side of a bus at full speed. There was a girl jogging on the train tracks, her jogging in the rhythm of the music, she never heard the train whistle, the train was not able to slow down in time, she did not go faster, the girl lost the encounter, the train did not suffer injury!

All this relates to the item at hand, when we consider the seesaw (many child joyed at the mystery of that temporary conundrum) we see that it is a simple game of equilibrium. I push, my partner goes down, my partner pushes, I go down; there is little mystery in this exercise. So, what happens when we have a third player? When we have a double up on either side, that side goes down until that sides kicks off again, the bigger the difference the harder the action. However, there is a second version, in that version party number three is in the centre, on the seesaw axis, there this party defines the balance. That game seems nice, but it is no longer a game, the gamers at the end of the seesaw seem to get nullified playing. This is how I see what happened in the last 48 hours.

The most interesting source in this case is a site called ‘Quartz’ (at http://qz.com/327410/absolutely-everything-you-need-to-understand-what-happened-to-the-swiss-franc-this-week/), with this quote being the most interesting one “Because it was creating new francs and using them to buy euros, the SNB’s currency holdings exploded. This is hugely important. In the United States, the Fed is buying the safest financial instrument in the world, US government bonds. It can hold those bonds until they mature and be virtually assured it will be paid back. The SNB, on the other hand, is acquiring a giant pile of currencies that can whipsaw in value, potentially exposing the bank to large losses“, it is interesting for two reasons. First of all there is this part: ‘the safest financial instrument in the world, US government bonds‘ and there is ‘The SNB is acquiring a giant pile of currencies that can whipsaw in value, exposing the bank to large losses‘. I took a few unessential words out of the second quote. What we get is with one, that the illusion that US government bonds are the safest. With a president unable to control its spending, the US is about to start new wars, setting them back billions, the Dow Jones Index is trusted less and less, whilst in addition more sources are stating that a stock market crash will happen any day now (at http://www.moneynews.com/MKTNews/Market-Collapse-Finance-Stocks/2013/03/01/id/492699/). I have no value on moneynews.com, what they show looks nice, but charts can be explained in more than one way and what is ‘disastrous’ to some, can be explained away by others. I have had similar thoughts on the changes to the markets, but not based on these charts.

So as the stock market would collapse, the dollar would take a massive dive. The Dollar is about to take a dive because it is so intertwined with the Euro in many ways, so as the Euro takes a tumble, so will that mighty ‘safe’ dollar (not to mention the 18 trillion of debt). So now we get the second issue, if the danger to the SNB (Swiss National Bank) is so volatile, why take any risk at all. You see, the Americans (some not too bright) went after all these rich billionaires hiding their funds outside of the US. So the Swiss always played along, because if push came to shove, they had American billions, perhaps even a thousand of them (trillion dollar joke), which means that the risk was relatively small. As America hunted down these artful tax dodgers, those Americans struck deals and took away their cash, so why should the Swiss take any risk for the irresponsible spenders on end of the seesaw? It’s like there is one European on one side, two Americans on the other side and Switzerland was on the axial holding the mess in balance. Now, the axle player stops playing and we get this mess.

So when we see “The bank’s foreign currency holdings have grown to about 75% of GDP” and “So the SNB decided to abandon the ceiling on the franc, in response, the spring-loaded franc shot higher“, makes perfect sense. Why should a nation with a relative low debt hold this much in risk? So now we get a new dance! “The SNB’s decision to suddenly go back on a previous policy it had claimed to be committed to will make markets think twice before taking the bank at its word. That’ll make monetary policy tougher to carry out in the future” shows two sides, one is he term ‘previous policy’. That sounds pretty nice that Switzerland is shown as ‘the bad guy’, yet, is that true? Policy is one thing, but it requires accountability on the other side, for the Franc with a ceiling is one thing, the fact that the roof might be made from papier mâché during a blizzard is not good news if you are Swiss in nature, the ceiling issues requires actions from all involved players. Especially when the foreign currency holdings of Switzerland is set at roughly 75% of GDP (going by the numbers QZ is showing), if you doubt this, then I ask you to remember that small place called Cyprus, when that went pear shaped, the Cypriots were left holding an empty bag (a little under 2 years ago). I am not at all surprised that the Swiss want a better option for themselves and getting out whilst they can is not the worst idea. The last part is seen in this quote: “five years after the worst of the global financial crisis and Great Recession, the world still seems to be tip-toeing toward a deflationary vortex. It will take serious political efforts from governments and central banks to move against the tide. The ECB finally shows signs of joining the fight, which is a good thing. But the SNB’s decision suggests that some governments are giving up and just letting the current carry them away“, this I need to do in the following parts:

  1. It will take serious political efforts from governments and central banks to move against the tide‘, America has not kept their debt in check (as well as the ‘big’ Euro 4), it is still growing with a change of the guard (US presidential re-election) as well as the fact that another US debt ceiling is reached within the next 8 weeks. Add to that the Euro taking a few extra hits, this all adds up to a massive risk to Switzerland.
  2. The SNB’s decision suggests that some governments are giving up and just letting the current carry them away‘, this is the killer. The currency effort of not maintaining its value is implied as the Euro goes down (implied, not a given), in addition we see the Greek news ‘Inside its smoke-filled HQ, the far-left party is making plans to defy the EU over Greece’s debt and abolish draconian austerity measures imposed to shore up the euro‘ (at http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jan/17/greek-elections-syriza-europe-eurozone-alexis-tsipras), so next week, if this becomes an issue, the Euro takes another big bashing because the Greeks could not contain themselves or the debt that they had created (their governments), so now the other players must pay for the short-sightedness of the Greeks. Why are there not more political parties very outspoken in this regard? I mean with the debt at hand, your private island could be a nice future (I’ll take ownership of Paros for 499 Euro)!

These elements are all in play, yet no one considered the effect of the risks. That empty headedness (as I personally see it), this part becomes visible when we look at ‘Swiss Franc Trade Is Said to Wipe Out Everest’s Main Fund‘ (at http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2015-01-17/swiss-franc-trade-is-said-to-wipe-out-everest-s-main-fund.html). This is all interesting, especially “Everest Capital’s Global Fund had about $830 million in assets as of the end of December, according to a client report. The Miami-based firm, which specializes in emerging markets, still manages seven funds with about $2.2 billion in assets. The global fund, the firm’s oldest, was betting the Swiss franc would decline“. Did we not see this before (was it in 2004 or 2008)?

When we consider the additional “The SNB’s decision to end its three-year policy of capping the franc at 1.20 a euro triggered losses at Citigroup Inc., Deutsche Bank AG and Barclays Plc as well as hedge funds and mutual funds“, which is due to the line ‘including a wager that the Swiss franc would fall‘. So if that is the case then several people made a very ‘dumb’ wager. The question becomes ‘did they make a bad wager, or was this orchestrated’?

There is no way for me to prove that there was any intent (I am not saying there was any orchestration, only asking on the chance of it). Yet, does this not represent another case of putting a few billion eggs in one basket? Yes, I agree that the statement “The franc surged as much as 41 percent versus the euro on Jan. 15, the biggest gain on record, and climbed more than 15 percent against all of the more than 150 currencies tracked by Bloomberg”, consider when we see the light of the seesaw, and the 75% of GDP that the SNB holds in foreign currency. When it makes this leap against the said 150 currencies, how much discipline are some currency controllers not showing in light of the earlier quote ‘some governments are giving up and just letting the current carry them away‘. Perhaps the question that Katherine Burton (the writer) at Bloomberg should be asking is “How come such managed levels of foreign currency holdings were left out in the open to this extend, especially after the Cyprus issue” is a question that should have run with every front page on the planet (at least 4 weeks ago), so it is not just the SNB that is now getting the spotlight, my questions becomes, which decision makers are now hiding in the shadows for allowing such levels of risk. It seems to me that a ‘policy’ is a poor excuse when people frown on the SNB, whilst not asking how it was allowed these levels of foreign holdings in the first place.

So when we look at the Guardian ‘Swiss currency crisis claims casualties across the world‘ (at http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/jan/16/west-ham-sponsor-alpari-swiss-currency-crisis) “This has resulted in the majority of clients sustaining losses that have exceeded their account equity. Where a client cannot cover this loss, it is passed on to us”, so how many were ‘gambling’ that the Swiss Franc would take a dive and why did no one foresee this risk (when you bet the house and all your belongings on a ‘safe’ bet, you only have yourself to thank for moving to a carton box). The last statement sounds a little crass, but we saw this before then hedge funds took a dive, so why is there a lack of these checks and balances? Yet there is more, the Guardian has two more quotes that show the dangers here “We are very different to Alpari, which was designed for people who want to speculate” and “But I’m surprised they went bust so quickly. Ultimately, they should be able to go back to the client to recover the money they lost” which is the part I expected initially. When we see these levels of speculation, the question becomes, who was checking the window for icebergs ahead?

Finally there is one quote at the beginning, which I steered around. The quote “Shares in FXCM slumped 40% ahead of a formal announcement about its future after it admitted it faced $225m of losses“, should keep you thinking. Consider the question, that one currency jump could have this drastic an effect on Forex Capital Markets, the online Foreign exchange market broker based in the US. So, even though this could happen, the fact that it did, seems to be a nightmare for several players. All this and then we see the most astounding part in Forbes (at http://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2015/01/17/this-is-just-too-lovely-about-fxcm-just-too-lovely-for-words/). Here we see “It’s not entirely obvious that those higher margin requirements would have saved FXCM but still, that is fun, isn’t it? They lobbied against the rules that would have protected them“, if you read the article, you get the whole picture (I was not willing to use three entire paragraphs there), so the need for ‘better’ margins pretty much costed them the farm in the last few days and even though Forex might survive, we need to take a harsh look at the ‘gambling’ that has happened, not just because of the gamblers, but the entire ‘policy’ part from the SNB does not sit well with me. With Cyprus 2 years ago, this issue should never have been allowed to exist in the first place, so before we start blaming and lynching Swiss people, let’s make sure that we get a complete list of all the currencies and the values that Switzerland was holding on 75% of their GDP, because we should be asking those involved parties a few questions on irresponsible parking such amounts.

Tim Worstall wrote the gem in Forbes, but neither him or those who set out the parts in Bloomberg and the Guardian are looking at the bigger picture (as I personally see it), as this economy was playing a game of seesaw, how did these adult players not realise that the person on the axial (SNB) was going to lose interest being at risk on the axle, whilst the other two sides were having the joys and benefits of controlled up and down movements.

The evidence as I see it is a simple as watching children play in the playground, the axle position of the seesaw is not the favourite place to be, not even for a short time!

 

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What is an economy?

Yesterday we saw all kinds of movement in the markets. The start of this was a violent sell off in almost direct answer to a message be Ben Bernanke (Source:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2013/jun/20/stock-markets-violent-sell-off ). It is a name that ‘shines’ to some extent when we watch the movie ‘Inside Job’. Mr Bernanke has been involved with the Federal Reserve for over a decade and has been the chairman of the Federal Reserve since 2006. Bernanke’s message that started a whole lot was to end QE (Quantitative Easing). Is it wrong? That is the debate that many want to start, yet we are currently in a phase where this approach to bond buying must stop, the question is not just why, it is also current to ask why not sooner, or why would this have such a strong effect on global markets to this effect.

Does this event show that the US is actually getting stronger, or is the rest of Europe’s so much weaker? My initial voice goes to the second part and I will explain why. If we consider the outstanding debts then we must agree that the US remains now and for some time to come on the utter brink of bankruptcy. The total US debts are well over 120 trillion (almost 17 trillion national debt), which is so much outside of the reach of repaying for a long time to come. There is the valid question why the US should support Europe to the extent it is doing at present. Europe is so not getting a handle on their spending and many nations are showing more and more delay to getting it all under control. This is not just fuelling UKIP and the reason that the UK population is more and more intent on leaving the European Community, parties within the US are validly asking, why are we paying for all this? As the US pays the IMF and they keep on pouring money into bottomless pits like Greece, more and more are asking questions as to why this should continue.

It gets even better. If we add the sums of payments by the different parties into getting the economy going (jump starting was the label they used) , we end up with an amount well over the sum of all outstanding mortgages in US and Europe. So if we consider that amount, then consider the option of paying of the mortgage of EVERY household making less than $70K. That amount would be less than the amounts paid to get the economy started. In effect, no mortgage means that people would be spending money everywhere and the US (and also the European Community) would have an economy that is up and running.

So as Ben Bernanke stops QE and as the US is buying back the outstanding bonds the markets will not suffer, but they will reflect the poor position everyone is in.

If we see the past of Rothschild we see: “Amschel Rothschild’s (1773–1855) definition of economy saw this as financing national projects such as wars, goods and infrastructure”. Economy would be defined as a national economy as a classification for the economic activities of the citizens of a state. So our view of economy (you and me in general) sees this in relation to the citizens. As such, the US economy is seen as extremely poor as one out of six lost their house; one in ten had no job. This has now improved to one in 12 (which is really not that good yet), yet the overall considering healthcare (or lack thereof) and other topics mean that the economy is not yet in a state of health. It is only barely starting to be on a road to recovery. The Federal Reserve is considering that dropping QE would enable a stronger wave of recovery. Is that wrong? When we read about the economy in many places, and how much better the economy is doing, we feel we are being lied to, yet, is that true?

that point of view only hangs on what the definition of economy is. In a global market where we look on how corporations are doing in their markets we see a definition devoid of citizens as they only consider the consumers. I think that their definition is wrong, yet it is not incorrect. Many of us seem to look with at the same picture with wrong (different) standards and values.

If the market drops (as it did yesterday) because these sellable items are no longer there, then this is another matter. If a shop loses one item and it drops to such an extent, then we see evidence that are (or have been) living for the most of the ROI of one successful item. Today’s message on the Guardian (source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/global/2013/jun/21/global-markets-stablise-crisis-euro) only gives strength to my views. It shows on how Greece needs another 3 Billion, how can this continue?

The article shows the following quotes that are important for the next part: “EU leaders in Luxembourg are holding a day (and probably night) of talks to create rules that force losses onto large savers when banks fail.

So like Cyprus, those who saved money for their retirement will see it dwindle? Because in Cyprus those over 100K Euro lost a bundle. After working up to 45 years, their retirement all based on joy of working hard is getting cut because no one has either the guts or the insight to actually deal with the banks and the governments behind these events?

Sweden’s Finance minister Anders Borg emphasised on the dangers of those moves. Also stated in the article by the Guardian was “A draft bill has suggests bank shareholders should suffer first, followed by bondholders and then savers. A new fund could also be set up to oversee new tighter rules.

Now, I get the shareholders suffering side of this. When you invest in shares, you invest in risk. Yet the one part that needs an overhaul, the banks and their board of directors are still not properly dealt with. So whatever draft will be created on dealing with banks and their path of recovery is still not laid out in full. However, with the promotion of bad bank separation only gives pressure on taxation and tax payers. Who wants to live in such an environment, where what I see as unacceptable levels of risk-taking remaining undealt with. To me it seems that it is more humane to legalise drunk driving as that will only kill of a few people, the fact that banks and risk-taking financial institutions can dump these levels of risk on a population group many times the size over is just absurd.

We see all these ideas and patch jobs, yet the instigators of the harm we witnessed since 2004 keep on getting a pass by ‘the deans of industry’ to walk, talk and deal wherever they want. Especially after Cyprus, where we now see the legal proposals to force losses somewhere, seem to be less vocal on jailing the board of directors of banks when these levels of loss become visible. They apparently did not break any laws. If being drunk in traffic is no defence in court, how can irresponsible short-sightedness in financial institutions be legal? This level of high stakes poker where losses are not punished and winnings go to the individual must stop. In that same regard where the European Community (EC) is adding nation after nation, and when these places start to overspend as banks and politicians that the EC stamp is a free for all for name and fame making is short term and the outstanding debts are all dumped on the tax payers in the end. Perhaps it is no longer about saving failed banks. Perhaps any failing bank should be nationalised. The members of the board are investigated for negligence, whilst their belongings are sold at auction and they are scrapped from the banking and financial industry where they may never work again on any level of authority.
Yes, I agree this is equally an overreaction.

Yet, currently nothing seems to be effectively done. Greece remains a slice of evidence in that regard. It is nice for the Greek population to blame others (especially Germany), yet these levels of non-control into the Greek debts come from Greece. It is their own previous government being so utterly irresponsible, not to mention some of the financial institutions who were residing there. From Bloomberg this quote came: “Let’s begin with the observation that irresponsible borrowers can’t exist without irresponsible lenders“. There is logic in that statement. Can we however also mention that Goldman Sachs had given the assistance to hide the levels of Deficit in Greece? So there were more elements in play. Perhaps, when the Greek banks do go into a toxic bank solution, they should consider adding their entire Greek mortgage portfolio and add that to the bad bank. If you truly want to start an economy, taking away their fear of homelessness will go a long way. Especially when the monthly mortgage could then be spend on items that truly jump start an economy.

When nations and conglomerates are talking about the economy, then you should ask them ‘what is YOUR definition of an economy’. It is the same issue as companies hiding behind revenue. Revenue sounds nice, but the reality is profit and contribution. It is what is left after the costs are removed. You will see that many places are not in a good position and they are not getting better any day soon.

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