Tag Archives: Ebola

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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The cost of doing Business

It is the guardian again, not in anything specific; however generically speaking there is an issue that requires visibility.

Let’s take a look at the following headlines: “Ebola is in America – and within range of Big Pharma“, “How bet365 profits from Chinese punters who risk jail for gambling” and “Brutal competition batters supermarkets the world over“, here is the cost of doing business.

How is it relevant?

That is the first part, this is not about relevance, and also, these issues are not linked (as far as I can tell), but they do have something in common (other than that they were all in the Guardian on October 5th 2014). Let’s take a look at big pharma. The article comes from Julia Kollewe and is a good read, from the article I got the following parts:

Unfortunately, the standard economic model for drug development, in which industry takes all of the risk in R&D and gets a return on investment from successful products, does not work for diseases that primarily impact low-income countries and developing healthcare systems” and “GSK is developing a malaria vaccine that could be ready late next year and is expected to be sold on a not-for-profit basis. Its success rate was only about 30% in infants but better in toddlers, although final clinical results and data on the effect of a booster are still due“, last there is “Turner says two commissions are looking at alternative financial models. One idea is that governments could underpin the economic cost of drug development by committing early to buy the first 2m doses of a new vaccine, for example“. How is any of this ‘just accepted’? Let’s take a look at GlaxoSmithKline. It made 25 billion in 2013 with a net income of well over 5 billion (20% net income is amazingly good). Is that not enough? Is the issue not on how they come up with something, how it becomes a solution and then they make a fortune. So, why must they get ‘a set government incentive’? Why are we allowing for governments to bank on failure? Is their continued existence not based upon proven success? Now let’s take a look at the BBC article from May 10th 2012 (at http://www.bbc.com/news/business-17993945) where we see: “The programme obtained confidential tax agreements detailing plans to move profits off-shore to avoid what was a 28% corporate tax rate at the time. Those involved include pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK)“. So, not only are they ‘avoiding’ certain due invoices to the Coffers of Osborne, they want pre-ordered and ordained solutions? An anointed decree of set maximised profits. It reads like these boards of directors have a spine no stronger than a paperback, one that is comprised of balance sheets I might add.

So, as we say goodbye on how big pharma will find new ways to get loads of cash on possible medicinal solutions, we should take a look at number two.

Brutal competition batters supermarkets the world over’, the article states ‘observer writers’ yet gives us no names. When we look at certain parts we see a view that is incomplete, but seemingly not inaccurate “Aldi has made huge gains in market share in Australia, from about 3% in 2005 to 10% this year“, this means that the two running the show (Coles and Woolworths), will get a third to deal with. There is more to the entire situation, as we look at the price of milk in Australia “The battle for the hearts and dollars of Australian consumers has distressed the dairy industry, threatened small shopkeepers and prompted a Senate inquiry“, yet is that it? Consider that the dairy market is suddenly downgraded in revenue in excess of 20%, how can that be fair or even good to the supplier and when that is no longer an option, how will the consumer pay for milk when offers will dwindle to 2 suppliers? Then what will the market do?

Last there is ‘Revealed: how bet365 profits from Chinese punters who risk jail for gambling online’, which is an interesting article by Simon Goodley. It is the subtitle that gets us the first part “Bookmaker ‘rotates website addresses to keep ahead of authorities’, says employee“, which already implies that the cost of doing business and ethics are no longer in synch with one another. Ethicality has become a nuisance, especially when a business is actively ‘keeping ahead of the authorities‘.

Then we read “The gambling group says its legal advice is that it has broken no law by taking bets from the country“, is a local law the only part of legality?

When we consider Part 2 of the Serious Crime Act 2007 (UK), we see at sections 44 through to 46, three inchoate offences of intentionally encouraging or assisting an offence; encouraging or assisting an offence believing it will be committed; and encouraging or assisting offences believing one or more will be committed. Is that not the implied part of the ‘alleged’ crime when we see the term ‘keeping ahead of the authorities’?

When we look at section 48(3) we see that a person can only be found guilty of the offence under section 46 (encouraging or assisting offences believing that one or more will be committed) if the offence or offences that the jury find the defendant believed would be committed are specified in the indictment. Yet, this is not enough, for the most, it is not clear to me whether this applies to crimes outside the UK, however In Part 1 section 4 we see “For the purposes of section 1(1)(a), a person has been involved in serious crime elsewhere than in England and Wales if he;

(a) has committed a serious offence in a country outside England and Wales;
(b) has facilitated the commission by another person of a serious offence in a country outside England and Wales; or
(c) has conducted himself in a way that was likely to facilitate the commission by himself or another person of a serious offence in a country outside England and Wales (whether or not such an offence was committed).”

This seems to give enough to warrant it all (if the Jury would agree on this). So why is there such an abundance of acts and actions?

You see, the three articles are unrelated, but together they show a massive change in morale and ethics, the kind that people tend not to get back from. This might be the UK (to some extent), but it is clear that these events have been a fact in the US and are starting to get a more stringent grip to the acts of people in both Canada and Australia.

Now for the part that is linking these three views together. Let’s be clear, that this is a personal link, and as such it is debatable on many levels and also that is up to you to agree and disagree. I am not here to path the road for you, I merely speak of where the next place is, and how you get there is up to you. The press seems to favour emotion over logic (to a certain degree), you see, logic is all about reasoning and emotion is about (rashly) acting. The press gets more signals from the emotional reader, so as we react to soaps and reality TV, the press is having a field day cashing in on a league of events, all informative (in their viewpoint), yet overall not that result driven. Is it for that reason that we see a growing calendar on ‘human events’?

As we look at the big pharma piece we see a growing lack of ethicality. They state one thing, whilst pressing other avenues. The statement of moving in one direction, yet not willing to go the entire distance is something entirely unacceptable. We see the stories on how it is all so expensive to create a drug, yet the other side is not told, on how the top 20 are making in excess of half a trillion dollars, whilst in addition their net revenue is around 25%, which is one of the strongest profit margins. At this point we need to take a look at the initial premise of ‘pre-ordaining’ 2 million vaccines. How unbalanced is all this and with margins that large, why are they allowed these tax breaks?

The Bet365 issue could be regarded as an act, likely to be recklessly criminal. If there was no crime, these places could live on a static IP and we would not see the phrase ‘keeping ahead of the authorities‘. We have entered a stage of living where morality is not just taking a backseat, it is leaving the room, add to that a rapidly declining system of ethics and we end up with a change into chaos. You would wonder how a government would allow for that. Well, that is where the issue becomes murky. I think that for some time now, we have been living under a false pretence. Not unlike Sweden, where in 1917 the King’s powers were considerably reduced, becoming a figurehead with only limited political authority. A change that was done in that case for the good of the Swedish people, yet in many other nations big business made a similar change, only they did not remove power of those elected, as a long term strategy they placed themselves ABOVE the law. This is shown in several of my blogs and the acts BBC showed involving GlaxoSmithKline is only the smallest of examples. I discussed this in my blog ‘The Sanctimonious pretender‘ on August 30th where I stated: ‘Big firms consider leaving the Netherlands, says KPMG report‘, the quote “Some of the Netherlands’ biggest companies are considering leaving the country because of the worsening climate for entrepreneurs, according to a new report by consultants group KPMG“. Well, this is not about worsening climates, this is because nations with a monarchy require a fair bit of accountability, which is why the Netherlands and the United Kingdom has seen much stronger measures for the protection of the people and less so in favour of Big Business.

It is important that we seek solutions that require accountability for all, not just those who are not too rich. It is a tall order, but it can be done if we work together. We accept that there is a cost of doing business, but the view as agreed upon seems to differ as to what big business accepts as a valid cost and what everyone else thinks is a valid cost.

In a world of rapid degeneration of values like Ethics, Morality and Accountability we need to make sure that we see a stronger focus in these three values, if not, standing up to big business might no longer be an option.

 

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