Tag Archives: Damian Lewis

When the cure is part of the disease

Have you seen that issue in your life, the claim that the cure is worse than the disease, or perhaps that the cure is not worth the disease. There are medical situations where this applies and they are usually used in cases of huge risks, but it is always in a stage where it is about optionally curing the person who got that winning lottery ticket, and the cure will hit him or her full on. It happens, yet what is the stage where the cure is the disease? I am not talking about a vaccine where we are making the body stronger by fighting a weaker version of the disease, no this is a stage where we give the person Ebola or Hantavirus to let the body cure it. The problem becomes that once you have the virus you are actually sick and the complications start from that point onward.

This is the stage we are confronted with in ‘IMF accused of ‘reckless lending’ to debt-troubled states‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/business/2019/oct/07/imf-accused-of-reckless-lending-to-debt-troubled-states). It is not merely “the Fund broke its own rules by not ensuring sustainable debt burden“, I personally believe it to be a much larger problem in all this. It is also not merely: “encouraging reckless lending by extending $93bn of loans to 18 financially troubled countries without a debt restructuring programme first“, I believe it to be a larger play to push revenue away from vulture funds to create a systemic problem for these nations to become part of the consumer feeding frenzy to banks for generations. when we see: “Debt sustainability has come into the spotlight over the past year after the IMF controversially lent a record $56bn to Argentina even though its annual debt repayments far exceeded the Fund’s own limit” the given excuse ‘The IMF said Argentina, the second biggest economy in South America, was a special case‘ the handed excuse should be casted aside and given no value at all. the supporting evidence is seen in “The crisis intensified when, on 5 December 2001, the IMF refused to release a US$1.3 billion tranche of its loan, citing the failure of the Argentine government to reach its budget deficit targets” (source: https://www.nytimes.com/2001/12/11/business/argentina-scrambles-for-imf-loans.html). When I asked about the situation about 5 years ago from these so called Australian ‘economic reporters’, none of them had any level of a clear answer for me. The case was clear 5 years ago when certain vulture funds issues got to the surface, and now 17 years later they are giving out $56 billion, whilst refusing a $1.3 billion option 17 years earlier. There is a much larger flaw in all this and there have been whispers (read: gossip) that the IMF is very much into facilitating towards the needs of Wall Street and the financial operators out there. The bottom dollar line of Wall Street needs to be met and no one cares how it is done.

the stage becomes a lot less acceptable when we consider the stage Afghanistan; Angola; Cameroon; Central African Republic; Chad; Ecuador; Egypt; Ghana; Jordan; Mauritania; Mongolia; Pakistan; São Tomé and Príncipe; Sierra Leone; Sri Lanka; Tunisia; and Ukraine, all whilst Egypt, Pakistan and Ecuador are regarded as high risk, I personally feel that the risk factors of Ukraine, Sri Lanka and Jordan are also way above normal with only Jordan being in a better long term position however, if Jordan does not address its water shortage issues, Jordan could drop into the ultra-high risk group a lot faster than anyone could state: ‘Would you like a glass of water?‘, and in all this we see a larger failing.

It becomes a more visible issue when we see the IMF spin doctors at work. We partially accept the statement: “More than half that amount is accounted for by one programme – Argentina, which has unique circumstances“, yet I am much less forgiving when I see: “We have clear guidelines about not lending into unsustainable debt situations and all programmes require approval by the IMF’s executive board“. It is my response that they publish clearly all their guidelines (and policies), but we will not ever get that. In addition, the Argentina matter after the Vultures were done with it is also a failing of the highest degree, the fact that over 17 years $1.3 billion has required $56 billion implies more than merely 4,300% more funds needed. It gives rise that over 17 years a debt increase of 23% year on year was accumulated one way or another. It is a direct optional sign of complete and utter governmental financial malfeasance. It is a failure on a scale never seen before and the fact that no one stepped in shows the larger failure by the IMF. You see, the overall lack of illumination also constitutes evidence that the players wanted this to be kept out of the lime lights.

In addition, when we look at the 17 nations, when we ignore the obvious three, we see a larger issue in Jordan. Jordan stepped up and towards the issue that there are well over 1.4 million refugees in Jordan and Jordan was not ready in any way shape or form to deal with that. In their current state the Jordan desalination plants will not be able to keep up (so far it cannot keep up) and the fact that the Jordan population grew by 14% in 2-3 years due to the refugees was never clearly illuminated and now Jordan has a larger issue, even if another desalination plant is added in the Gulf of Aqaba, the issue will not diminish and the loans towards Jordan would become unsustainable. In addition, when you consider Sri Lanka, the newspapers all gave the same quote a month ago: ‘Sri Lanka’s economy has shown a ‘fair bit of resilience’‘, they quoted that to the letter, yet who was feeding them that information? Only 14 hours ago we see: “Sri Lanka’s tourist arrivals in September were down 27.2% from a year earlier“, those factors did not really change did they? When we consider a month ago, we see an economy that is getting hit hard, especially when Reuters gives us: “a sixth consecutive monthly fall“. It seems to me that Sri Lanka are betting on the required roll of the dice, when we get the clear indication that the dice are loaded and it seems that they are loaded towards the needs of the IMF/Wall Street and not in favour of Sri Lanka.

When we add the Reuters information: “Arrivals in the five months from May to September were down 44.4% to 468,737 from 843,569 a year earlier” we get a level of clear indication that the quote: ‘Sri Lanka’s economy has shown a ‘fair bit of resilience’‘ should be seen as media BS. And there is more regarding Sri Lanka, the quote less than 24 hours ago is “Sri Lanka’s Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera said all the money the current government has borrowed since 2016 was to repay the loans of the previous government of Mahinda Rajapaksa“, if that is true, then there are additional questions towards the IMF in regards to their spin doctors giving us: “Our decisions to lend to countries are not simply based on numerical thresholds, but on comprehensive debt sustainability analyses and policies needed to address economic imbalances and debt burdens“, which in the case of Sri Lanka shows a much larger issue, the fact that the quote on repaying from a previous government and that loan has been in place for 3 years shows a larger problem, so how much was given to them? In addition to this I wonder how much of the $56 billion is going to Elliott Advisors, so much is the IMF helping out Manhattan bad boy Paul Singer? In my view, the question becomes: ‘How much of the $56 billion goes to Hedge funds manager Paul Singer?‘ Under those conditions I reckon anyone could get their fingers on the penthouse in Sky Lofts building in Manhattan’s Tribeca neighbourhood. If it is good enough for Bobby Axelrod (Damian Lewis), it is good enough for the Lawlordtobe (Lawrence van Rijn), and I could do with a change of scenery, especially if Google buys my 5G IP portfolio.

So if my new address becomes 145 Hudson St New York, NY 10013, I promise that I will not consider the ’13’ in my zip code to be a bad omen and at least I will not have used the IMF to gain my fortune (although I will admit that I am perfectly willing to do that too #weallneedtoeat).

When we see these two issues and we see that I have not even looked at the 12 others (three were known issues) I wonder when any reporter will give us the entire down low on these so called analyses and policies that the IMF has in place, I feel with some level of certain ty that I will find a lot more issues under the waterline than the IMF spin doctors will be able to hide. Especially when we realise the quote in the Guardian: “concerns that a general election later this month will oust incumbent president, Mauricio Macri, in favour of the populist Alberto Fernández and his running mate, the former president Cristina de Kirchner, triggered a flight of investors, a run on the currency and sent the interest rate on the country’s publicly traded debts soaring“, more important, under that change the entire case which would have been part of the $56 billion ‘donation’ that we see through “Argentina agreed to reduce its fiscal deficit to 1.3% of GDP this year, down from 2.2% previously and a balanced budget next year“, especially when we see the required drop of 0.9% deficit, I cannot remember any elected official making that part of their campaign, it tends to leave them unelected at the polls, so in all this, not only does the JDC have a point, we see that Sarah-Jayne Clifton, director of Jubilee Debt Campaign should be considered to be a lot more serious and is in my personal view entitled to massive dose of limelight from the global media, so that she can ask the questions that the IMF would have to explain in a clear and transparent way, would you like to take a bet on the chance of that actually happening?

I believe that people like Paul Singer will set that bet to an estimated 250:1 chance (of it not happening), and as he personally was able to acquire $3.5 billion, I am not putting my hopes on high here. I merely wonder if the people in Argentina have any decent level of Christmas to look forward to this year and the many years that follow.

 

 

 

 

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Voices of entertainment

There is a lot going on, as per Friday the events in New Zealand are taking off, it is the buzz of the planet and they are all repeating or making more and more outlandish claims. I stated what needed to be said well over 24 hours ago and I stand by it for now (until actual evidence is brought forward). So I decided to browse the news and the media what they call newsworthy, two elements that are often not the same.

It stopped me in my tracks when I saw ‘Chelsea Clinton accosted by Muslim students at Christchurch terror attack vigil‘ with the one part: ““I want you to know that and I want you to feel that deep down inside. Forty-nine people died because of the rhetoric you put out there,” the student added as she pointed her finger at the daughter of Hillary and Bill Clinton.” It is shown with the photo by-line “Chelsea Clinton told the students she was sorry they felt that way, which further inflamed the situation“. The problem here is that her words might be seen out of context, her parents might get all kinds of consideration, but Chelsea is not, remarks resulting in questions raising the flames.

It stopped me in my tracks not merely because I do not know Chelsea Clinton (or her parents for that matter), but the idea is that famous people (read: celebrities) have agenda’s. Most of them for the most of their time try to use the acquired fame to give light to the truly worthy and those most unheard of. We have seen all the great actors having some kind of charity involvement, yet there are plenty who are not in the highest regions (still high though) who take serious amounts of time giving light to worthy causes.

One of these lights is Tom Hiddleston. He acquired most fame as Loki, the trickster, opposing Chris Hemsworth (aka Thor, or what some would call an ancient version of Bob the Builder) in several movies. He did a lot more and ever as some might think he was one of those Eton College silver spoon people (born in Westminster might give that appearance), we should see a man raising awareness for many causes, including Recessive Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa. By his support to The Sohana Research Fund (at https://www.cure-eb.org/) we see people like Jason Isaacs, Emma Watson and Damian Lewis also giving support to the cause.

We have seen for the longest of times as People like Matt Damon give rise to the need of clean water. Matt Damon with H2O Africa attended Davos 2019 a place where the truly rich convene to drum up support for additional millions to get more and more wells drilled in Africa. The work of his charity is doing so well that they have been able to reach a million more people each quarter with water and sanitation, clearly improving the quality of life there in very identifiable ways. Then there is Jennifer Lawrence who decided that a meal is a good way to start, so there is an option to share a slice of Pizza with her and the only action you required to do was to donate to a charity. Now, it might seem like small fry, but consider that the 50 people she had a slice with each would inspire 10-50 more, soon that movement goal becomes a very serious number towards success. Her cause was Voter Education through Represent.Us, a charity that brings together conservatives, progressives, and everyone in between to pass powerful anti-corruption laws that stop political bribery, end secret money, and fix our broken elections. It might seem small, but the power of the achievement is no joking matter and awareness is a first step. So whilst we see more and more actionable events by those in the entertainment media, we see that they are a lot more effective in bringing about change. Rachel McAdams, James VanBerBeek, Kevin Sorbo, Orlando Bloom, J.J. Abrams, Kerry Washington some of them supporting dozens of Charities, many of them doing so for years; so when you think that most of the celebrities rest on their laurels think again, some of these participants have agenda’s that are a lot more crowded than the average CEO of a fortune 500 company. In saying that one of the funniest events lately was done by Mark Ruffalo who (at https://comicbook.com/marvel/2019/03/05/avengers-endgame-premiere-mark-ruffalo-giveaway-omaze/) is shown to be running away with Thor’s hammer, giving it out as a charity price through an Omaze Contest for the Stella Adler Conservatory, the hammer (Mjolnir) signed by the Avengers cast as well as  the winner (+1) being the personal guest of Mark Ruffalo at the Avengers: Endgame premiere. So at times for millions a charity is just the means to get a prized possession and is that a bad thing? Even the marketing as Mark was great. It entices fans all over the world to be like a hammer and nail that price.

The voices of entertainment are a lot stronger than anyone realises and in all that we all see that there are plenty of good causes that could use illumination, I reckon that with the mindset of these fresh new titans to be (except Matt Damon, he has been around a while now) the future of the place we live in is in decent hands, when you realise this in opposition of the acts that happened in New Zealand, this is a great place, there are good people in any religion and as we get better in voicing the matters that should be important to all of us we can make this place better for everyone.

For me I recollect one of my truest idols. In my case it is Lord Baden Powell. It is not because he created the boy scouts, it is his quote “Try and leave this world a little better than you found it“. The requirement is simple, it is easy, it is realistic, and if we all did it this world would go from now to truly great within two generations. It is that simple approach that makes and improves a world. These stars are doing it, but in equal measure so do many people, most we have never seen, heard or noticed. Though community services, through emergency services and in other ways, these people all contribute to making the world a decent place. We should all consider joining up to a cause that we feel strong about and in the end, we do not need to do a lot, we merely have to try and leave this world a little better than when we found it.

Is that so hard a call to make?

 

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