Tag Archives: economy

What surely comes next!

Today I took another look at what the Washington Post reported on Mark Zuckerberg, even as today will not be about that. It will however 100% for certain, soon be about 44 senators, I am collecting data on losers like Rep. David McKinley (W.Va.), who accused Zuckerberg and Facebook of “hurting people” by failing to thwart those who try to sell opioids on the site. So he will soon face my exposure on how Heroin-related overdoses in West Virginia have increased by 200% by Nov 2017 and even more at present since measures were implemented to limit prescription opioid use. In addition a recent source gives us ‘Drug companies shipped nearly 21 million opioid painkillers to a town with 2,900 people‘, which was 3 months ago, so as I see it, the republican loser from West Virginia can join the Texas ranks as one of the least useful persons in the USA. But do not worry, these senators have accumulated loads of visibility and I will save some space for all 44 of them. So as this is coming soon enough, let’s take a look what matters today.

You see, the issues in the Middle East are accelerating and the issues are becoming more and more extreme. Even as we saw “The announcement was made at the High Level Pledging Event for the Humanitarian Crisis in Yemen held in Geneva today, bringing total EU funding to Yemen to €438.2 million since the beginning of the crisis in 2015. Speaking at the event in Geneva today, Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis” a mere week ago (source: EU News), the issue is not how much is going there, but whether that pays for any humanitarian relief. You see, Yemeni Houthi’s fired ballistic missiles at Riyadh, which according to Al Jazeera travelled more than 800 Km into Saudi Arabia (at https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/04/yemen-houthi-rebels-fire-ballistic-missile-saudi-capital-180411153418562.html), and when we see “Sharaf Lokman, a spokesman for the Houthis, said the attack came after Saleh al-Samad – president of the Supreme Political Council that runs Yemen’s capital, Sanaa, and other rebel-held areas – declared the start of “a year of ballistic missiles“, can we blame Saudi Arabia for whatever comes next? Whatever comes next is likely to be today and as the papers are all about how civilians were hit in all this, it seems to me that there is an unbalance in what is reported on several sides, giving rise to different levels of scrutiny and bias, whilst those needing to get all the news are blatantly ignored. When we see “the kingdom’s defence forces saying they intercepted missiles that targeted Riyadh and another city, and drones targeting an airport and an Aramco oil facility in the country’s south“, many people forget that all this requires technology, knowledge and heaps of additional logistics. So how are the Houthi rebels getting this stuff? Someone is supplying them and even as we realise that these puppies are not cheap, we tend to forget that the cost is rising quickly, especially when we see “a year of ballistic missiles”. Even under the best of conditions Yemen could not afford any of it, so they shouldn’t be able to get the mere fuel for these missiles, where is the rest coming from? When we consider the players who could afford it, how come the EU is all about “Martin Griffiths initial priority should be to listen rather than act“, whilst someone is ordering missiles by the dozen a day (an assumption from my side), where are these funds coming from? I think that the part “Martin Griffiths has an opportunity to serve as a bridge between international and regional actors and to benefit from European diplomatic initiatives” sounds slightly too much like a joke when we see the adverse actions taken. In this the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) might be a mere think tank, yet even they need to work on the premise of reality and achievability, two parts that are not coming to their doorstep any day soon if they keep on ignoring certain cash flow issues in all this. You see, Saudi Arabia almost has no option left but to strike back as hard as they can. If they do not, they are merely opening themselves to additional attacks from Hezbollah Al-Hejaz. A group that Iran planned to revive last year and as matters go, there is every chance that they have gone beyond the planning stage. If there is any truth to the entire “a year of ballistic missiles” matter, it implies (to some extent) that certain parts are in play and Iran cannot get caught there in any way. Having a resurrected puppet like Hezbollah Al-Hejaz is the most likely solution for them. Even as they know that it will be a signal for Israel to hit Hezbollah in their region, the outcome is a certain level of destabilisation, which is as I personally see it the first need for Iran. If they have any plans towards hurting Saudi Arabia, destabilisation is a clear first tactical need. In this Saudi Arabia has its work cut out in equal measure. It needs a few solid iron strikes against the Yemeni Houthi’s for Iran to realise that they are truly biting off more than they can chew and that is the only way (without a full scale skirmish) for Iran to reconsider the situation that they are on. In equal measure, Turkey is seeing the initial impact of its actions in Syria as the Turkey’s embattled lira hit a new low of around 4.14 to the US dollar. Turkey suffers from 10% inflation driven by an enormous internal credit bubble, a current account deficit of nearly 6% of GDP, and a US$220 billion corporate debt load in foreign currency. All this the Erdogan response is ““There are games being played on our economy,” he said in a speech in Ankara. “I call to those attacking our economy: You will not succeed. Just like you failed before, you will fail again”“. As I see it the idea that the cost of a war would largely impede ones economy as billions go to the cost of fuel for tanks and the ammunition for troops and tanks and even more resources for feeding the troops, all Trillions of Turkish Lira’s not going to the Turkish civilian needs and infrastructure probable has not yet sunk in with the President of Turkey, so that is that lack of insight to add to the tumbling Turkish economy as well? The good part here is that as they face those elements they need to shy away from becoming the Iranian tool in the Middle East outside of Syria, so that would optionally give Saudi Arabia more breathing space, how these acts could be used to stop Iran remains unclear at present, but there is every chance that Israel and the US are pissed off enough to do something silly like open up a full scale theatre of war in Syria (after the chemical attacks) and as such, if Russia does not respond with actual war and tries the diplomatic path to calm things down, Iran will not be left with any option but to wage war alone against Saudi Arabia, whilst Israel and the US will side with Saudi Arabia, the second part is that Yemen will suddenly lose all Iranian support which will change everything there as well.

The only direct path at present (as I personally see it) is to find out how the missiles make it to Yemen and make sure that the next 3 shipments are scuttled in the Gulf of Aden or the Arabian Sea, making the entire endeavour way too expensive for those with additional agenda’s. Yet the reality is that there are unknowns at present. It is not the missiles themselves, but the support system behind it all. Someone is getting trained there and finding out by whom and how is actually more important, sinking a shipment is one thing, getting rid of the instructors through targeted killings makes the next 6 shipments useless and therefor a tactic to be favoured (if realistically possible). In all this the person(s) training the Houthi are likely to be shielded, but it seems to me that finding them might be easier in the long run. Any Houthi firing team that the Saudi military can dispose of would delay the “year of ballistic missiles” tactic by several months with each successful hit making the statement Saleh al-Samad an unrealistic boast that could drown moral the way it needs to be, because as long as this goes on in Yemen, the 850,000 half-starved children (as reported by Oxfam) will not get to have any chance of survival.

Yet that is the way of inaction, even as action might be worse in the short term, resolving the issue would also imply that humanitarian aid could be possible after that. In all this, no matter what we think might happen, we do know that death is surely coming for thousands, if not for hundreds of thousands of the civilian population, a population of 10 million of Yemeni who are currently out of food, water, electricity and medicine, and their chances for survival? When we consider the mere premise of “The World Bank predicts that Yemen’s oil and gas revenues will plummet during 2009 and 2010, and fall to zero by 2017 as supplies run out“, we might have to realise that the Yemeni’s need to consider not being alive, at the lives of Syrians were set to zero on the abacus of life due to a none economic value, the plight of the Yemeni people might be worse and that is not just in light of their value, that realisation also gives us that this nation has no funds to work with, so how would they be paying for their “year of ballistic missiles“? #JustAsking!

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If at first you don’t succeed!

That was the first thought I had when I saw the article ‘Academics attack George Osborne budget surplus proposal‘ (at http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/jun/12/academics-attack-george-osborne-budget-surplus-proposal) and the title reflects on them as well as on me. You see, as stated more than once before, I have no economics degree, but I have insight in data, I am not a bookkeeper, but I know how to keep my own register (I’ll let you boil down that conundrum by yourself).

So as I have a go at 77 of the best known academic economists, I present the first quote, which is: “George Osborne’s plan to enshrine permanent budget surpluses in law is a political gimmick that ignores “basic economics”, a group of academic economists has warned“, here we see the first failing of these economists. You see, the first rule of a basic economy is plain and simple:

Do not spend more than you earn!

That has been a massive need for over 20 years! Some ‘academics’ convincing that the budget could be X (whatever the amount is, now they tell us that X = Y (part of our costs) + Z (the interest and minimal payback on a massive loan that allows us to do more). At some point, one politician was stupid enough (or forced) to do this, but then the next one did it too and so on. Now we have a game, because of a group of flagellationists, we are all whipped into a place we never wanted to be, which is deep in debt!

Were those economists wrong?

They were not IF (a very loud if) the politicians would have diminished the debt, which is now 1.5 trillion pounds. You remember the first formula (X=Y+Z), now let’s take a look. You see, the numbers have been shifted again and again. Some now state that the interest is £42.9 billion per annum (2013 numbers), So now we get X = Y + (42.9 + 30), which is the annual interest and the paying down the debt at 2%, let’s not forget that at this pace it will still take 50 years, that is, if we get a budget that is actually set!

There are other complications that will make ‘Z’ higher, or ‘X’ a lot lower, when we consider maturing bonds and all other methods of ‘borrowing’ funds. You will see that the only winner is the bank. Whomever gets paid 42.9 billion is getting that as a guarantee without ever working for it. You the readers in the UK are doing all the work for that bank. The economists are not trying to tell you that. They come with ‘it is a very complex situation’ or my favourite ‘it would take too long to explain it all’. Yet, in their own words, ‘basic economics’ is actually really simple.

Do not spend money you do not have!

Now we get the quote “the chancellor was turning a blind eye to the complexities of a 21st-century economy that demanded governments remain flexible and responsive to changing global events“, which I see as a half-truth! You see, economics are quite complex, but they are only complex because economists and their friends in the financial sector MADE it complex! They get all this money for free from governments all over the world. They do not want to change that ever!

For the sake of the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth and our sanity, George Osborne is making that change. If previous Labour (especially Gordon Brown MP) had not spend the massive amounts they had, the UK would be in a much better position, but that is not the case. The economic view of ‘flexible and responsive’ is a valid point, but previous events turned ‘flexible and responsive’ into non-accountable overspending of funds that were not available. It will take a generation to clean up. The issues in Greece got so hairy that the President of the United States put his foot down, 2 days later the IMF walks away. An economy so deep in debt, an economy only representing 2% of the economy of the EEC could be able to topple it all. That is what many do not want to address!

This gets us to a linked quote in the article ‘Greece running out of time to avoid default, leaders concede‘ (at http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/jun/12/greece-running-out-of-time-to-avoid-default-leaders-concede), where we see: “Greece has less than a week to strike a deal with its Eurozone creditors to avoid defaulting on its massive debts and perhaps being kicked out of the single currency area, with German leaders and top European Union officials now conceding that default is the likeliest outcome“, so as you might recall that Greece claimed that a solution was ‘almost’ there, I will show you the ‘flexible and responsive’ side to the word ‘almost’.

You see, “I have had sex with Laura Vandervoort almost every night!” Monday almost, Tuesday almost, Wednesday almost. You get the idea, ‘almost’ here is like ‘as soon as possible’, at times it means ‘Never!’ (it would be so much fun to get a mail from Laura stating that she will be here ‘as soon as possible’, I am not beyond irony and it will make me chuckle for weeks!

Why this example? Well, I have been telling the readers for months that Greece has been screwing us around, you see how the words just fall into place? The economy does not! This is the clear evidence that the law must change. While all the players getting nice incomes were saying ‘tomorrow’ ad infinitum, George Osborne is saying ‘Now!’

The fact that this is essential is also seen through the acts of President Obama. Tax evasion was high on the G-meetings (G-7, G-20, take your pick), yet, when Australia introduced the Google Tax, we see the us Treasury making waves to stop it ‘US Treasury pressures Tony Abbott to drop ‘Google tax’ ‘ (at http://www.afr.com/news/policy/tax/us-treasury-pressures-tony-abbott-to-drop-google-tax-20150428-1mu2sg). They stated it as: “Mr Stack said it was critical that Group of 20 countries like Australia that were participating in global tax negotiations did not pass laws on their own that would contradict international agreements“. In my words, my response would be: “Mr Stack, you and your administration are a joke! You have not acted for over three administrations in reigning in corporate greed, your American corporations were cause of a financial meltdown 11 years ago, a meltdown we are all still feeling. In addition, you have not set ANY solid ground in countering tax evasion, other than the windy speeches we have expected to see, all speech, no action! It is time for the American administration to put their actions where their mouths have been for too long!” Not too diplomatic, but the message is coming across I reckon. The commonwealth can no longer adhere to the irresponsible acts of a nation that is 18 trillion in debt!

So as I see it the quote “they argued Osborne was guilty of adopting a gimmick designed to outmanoeuvre his opponents“. You see, this is not a gimmick, this is a direct need where the banks are no longer in control, the Commonwealth is a monarchy, that is there to give a future to the people and to keep them in a place where they have a future. For now Greece basically no longer has a future. It has spent it all, unless the US treasury comes up with 50 billion (quoting Jean-Claude Juncker), it only has time to find a solution that will not end the existence of Greece.

This is the massive difference that the people keep on forgetting. The UK is a monarchy, with a sovereign ruler who has accepted (or: was given) the responsibility to keep the nation thriving and its people moving towards a happy place that has a future, America is a republic, where the elected official is depending on large contributions, especially from the wealthy. It has given in to big business again and again for the last 20 years. As we see the USA, a nation more and more drowning in civil unrest, we should consider how they got there. The got there by lacking in laws that held big business and government to account of spending. Here we now see “George Osborne’s plan to enshrine permanent budget surpluses in law“, this is an essential first step to get us all back on a decent track where we are not in debt!

Getting back to the formula. The last step we were at was: X = Y + (42.9 + 30), you see, the people all over the place have been ‘deceived’ to some extent. Deceived is hard to use, because the word ‘misrepresented’ is a much better word. X is what the UK receives. With large corporations ducking their fiscal responsibility, the value of X goes down, with unemployment issues and zero hour issues, the people get less money and as such they pay less taxation, so X goes down even further. Now we get the set costs. (Y), more and more elderly, means more costs and they do not pay taxation. So the elderly drive down X a small bit and drive up Y a large portion. I do not hold that against them! They worked, they made Britain (and Australia) great! They did their share, so they get to sit down to enjoy the tea and biscuits (an additional fine venison steak would be good too). These are all elements that the economy is confronted with and as these economists have been to enabling to big business, we see that we must put a stop to what is happening. We have no other choice, or better stated we have less and less options. These economists are all polarised into one direction, one direction that has not worked for over a decade. We get misrepresented by ‘managed bad news’ and other forms of information we can no longer rely on.

Consider that I have been on top of the Greek case for some time now, so when we see (at http://ec.europa.eu/economy_finance/eu/countries/greece_en.htm) the fact that the forecast of Greece is 0.5% in 2015 and 2.9% in 2016, I wonder how they got to it all and if such misrepresentation should not be a cause for liability? Is it based upon raw data that we can trust? You see as these economists all rely on the ‘formula’ and all concede that it is a good model and a real predictor, my gut has been a lot more accurate and these economists had to adjust their numbers downwards time and time again. The last part for Greece is seen in the Financial Times, it reflects on what I stated earlier (at http://www.ft.com/fastft/343532/eurozone-financial-fragmentation-hits-5-year-low)!

Initiatives such as the European Stability Mechanism, a permanent rescue fund designed to limit financial chaos that might arise from an event such as a Grexit, as well as the €1.1tn quantitative easing programme, have helped insulate the rest of the Eurozone from Greece“, to ‘limit financial chaos’, is that not weird? Many players downplayed the impact of Grexit (especially France). So this ‘rescue fund’, how much is in it? You see, that will become a debt too and where does it go? France, Italy? They are in deep financial waters. So how much more will be needed to stop France and Italy to go over the edge?

Simple economics is to lower debt, now to throw money from other sources at the interest of debt, which solves nothing! George Osborne was right before, he is right now. The fact that the Economy players, the IMF and America do not like it when others are out of debt, that does not mean that we should adhere. I showed how USA adheres to big business (including banks), it is time to be self-reliant! So as rating agencies set the outlook bar to negative, we should start to wonder, who do they serve? You see, if the ratings are about the ‘now’, so the outlook is moved from Negative from Stable for an event that is not happening until 2017. Guess what, the UK was always stable, and when these ratings are shown to be ‘flawed’, then what?

To be honest, S&P has an interesting paper on this (at http://www.standardandpoors.com/aboutcreditratings/RatingsManual_PrintGuide.html). Here we see the quote “Credit ratings are opinions about credit risk published by a rating agency” and “Standard & Poor’s ratings opinions are based on analysis by experienced professionals who evaluate and interpret information received from issuers and other available sources“. Now we get the final part. The first quote is clear. It makes it known that this is a matter of opinion. The second quote is how they get it. Now tell me, how many of these ‘77 economists’, who were thumping George Osborne on all this, are involved in setting economic predictions? Are they linked to people who do set the ratings? I am not certain of the first premise, but I am decently certain of the second premise!

So are these economists, who claim that it is about ‘governments remain flexible and responsive’, is that it, or is the game getting rigged because the few are willing to sell the larger proportion of a population down the drain for the interest of self?

Consider the information given and work for a place of common sense. You will soon realise that the path of George Osborne is the right one, moreover, when in your life, has debt ever been a good thing and how is the debt working for Greece?

 

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The Cat and the Bacon

I have written about the economy on several occasions, I always proclaimed that it was pure insight as I saw it and that I do not have a degree in economy, I am an analyst. Yet today these borders of non-knowledge might get stretched a little further than previously shown. Today is all about the Euro!

I personally never believed it to be a good idea. We saw how all these politicians were proclaiming on how ‘good’ it was for the economy. Was it? You see, it might not matter for the bakery on the corner, the grocer next door or the butcher across the street. It matters to the giants of industry and how it benefits there bottom line, the extra coin for the members of the board, not for the people in the stores, that image tended to be a virtual one, it virtually did not matter at all!

I saw how the change of coin, from the Dutch guilder, things suddenly seemed to be 50% cheaper (2 guilders equalled one euro), but the math is easily made there. What those people experienced that buying a chicken on the market was 6 guilders, it became 3 euro’s, but then what? In a little less than 4 years that chicken from the same dealer ended up being 6 Euro’s. An annual 25% hike in prices. The chicken example is a little extreme and many articles did not raise that quickly. Some will mention the issues of milk in the Netherlands, but that is an issue much more complex and the Euro itself is only a small fragment there.

So, could I be wrong?

That is centre in this debate. I could be wrong, but it is very likely that we are all looking into the wrong direction. It would be nice to blame places like Greece, and they are definitely having an effect, yet the issue is not the EEC, it is more and more pointing towards America. You see, we are all in a bad shape, no one is denying that, yet in American, things have not gotten any better for a long time. Let’s face it, some people are now shooting at the police for fun, or for reasons of aggravation and despair. The people in America are suffering in many ways, but the all holier than DOW keeps on rising in addition, their currency is massively on the up, which under the issues showing, seems a little too good to be true, it an assumption, but is it fair and correct?

That remains to be seen, when we look at the Guardian, we see (at http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/jan/08/euro-dollar-1999-levels-deflation-oil), the following: “Recent data for the Eurozone has proved weak, with inflation falling and unemployment rising. Italy remains in recession while France has seen consumer and business confidence wane. Only Spain and Germany among the major economies have appeared to gain in strength, though Berlin has failed to kick-start GDP growth and Spain still suffers from an unemployment rate of 25%“, these are facts, they are not in denial, but where are the results of the UK (which were not great)? You see, these facts are true, but there is more to consider (besides Greece dragging the EU down). What about Sweden and the Netherlands? Not the greatest economies compared to the big 4, but still sizeable ones, we can admit that they are all struggling, yet the fact that we see a ‘propagated’ booming economy in America needs to be addressed too.

Who statistically has a job?

When we consider an article in Forbes last August, where we see “My friend and the waitress are victims of a massive but hidden problem called underemployment. Watching falling unemployment numbers being reported at 6.2%, down from nearly 10% four years earlier, is simply misleading“, attached to a headline ‘Tackling The Real Unemployment Rate: 12.6%‘ (at http://www.forbes.com/sites/louisefron/2014/08/20/tackling-the-real-unemployment-rate-12-6/), we get to see the picture that the people are living, Wall Street is ignoring and  the current administration of the US is misrepresenting. So is the Euro doing this bad, or is it dragged down by a misrepresenting nation carrying a 17 trillion dollar debt? By the way, did we not see something similar with Tesco and a few hundred millions misrepresented? How did THAT turn out?

When we see this quote in Forbes we see the real danger “741,000 discouraged workers – workers not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them – are included within the list of marginally attached people. Another 7.5 million were not considered unemployed because they were employed part-time for economic reasons. Those people are also called involuntary part-time workers – working part-time because their hours were cut back or because they were unable to secure a full-time job“. The danger is twofold, how many of the 741,000 are over 50? It seems that companies, especially those with younger, inexperienced executives are afraid to hire people with skills and know how. In regards to the 7.5 million part time workers, does that include those Wal-Mart people, who need to rely on food stamps and all kinds of other support systems? I am not debating their need, more that the owners each walked away with well over a billion in 2013, whilst its staff was on governmental food stamps. How does that ‘boom’ your economy? It almost reads like ‘gangbang’ for your buck whilst the governmental administration bends over, a lack of fairness on more than one front, one could state!

Booking a balance!

You see, the unbalance goes a lot further, the US as a nation can float its currency, this is not a bad thing, normally every nations does it to some extent, to weather a really bad time, so that business and consumer is not hit with weird spikes, it is an issue that has happened for a long time and it will continue to happen, yet the Euro does not have this privilege, these economies are set to what is done in Bruxelles (Brussels), and as such, it is likely impacted by spikes to some extent. However, as their currency is spiking downwards against the Dollar, which seems to be decently overvalued, we get a new danger that the drag will continue, whilst no one seems to be looking and the bubbled version of the US Dollar. So is my non-economic view correct, right or wrong? Yes, there are three options, because, what is correct may still not be right.

Consider, that the Euro nations are not doing so well, which is true after all, that fact does not make the dollar better does it? It is correct that the dollar looks better because the Yen and the Euro looks less good, but the economy in America is not booming, if it were, we would see a lot more people gainfully employed without the need for government support, you see, here we get to the matter on what is correct and what is right. If the US is having a virtual boom, we are judging the US on merits of misrepresentation, which by the way might not be illegal, but should an economy not be held to its cost as well? The US debt is still increasing; the people (a large amount) are not paid to a level of being self-sufficient. We see an economy that had made the thirteen amendment in 1865, there we see “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction“, in 1867 the US got the Peonage Act of 1867, where Congress abolished “the holding of any person to service or labor under the system known as peonage”, as well as specifically banning “the voluntary or involuntary service or labor of any persons as peons, in liquidation of any debt or obligation, or otherwise”, now this all sounds pretty clear, and having a job is not this, but when a population is forced to work for scraps, whilst still requiring food stamps, it seems that we now have an issue. no one is a slave, but under the conditions where the very rich grow their fortune at well over 30%, whilst those on average grow less than 2%, we should clearly see that the balance of fair play is no longer anywhere in sight. I am not against making profit, it is a capitalistic form that has merit, yet when we see six members of a family, each making a 9 figure number, whilst the 1% of America it employs makes less than the line of poverty, we need to ask serious questions. In addition, as we see a group where they deal in articles that are from questionable sources (at http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2014/jun/10/supermarket-prawns-thailand-produced-slave-labour), where the quote “A six-month investigation has established that large numbers of men bought and sold like animals and held against their will on fishing boats off Thailand are integral to the production of prawns (commonly called shrimp in the US) sold in leading supermarkets around the world, including the top four global retailers: Walmart, Carrefour, Costco and Tesco“, we are confronted with a governmental issue, where it allows for profit at expense of its own industries in Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi. We can acknowledge that the oil spills have been detrimental to the health of the industry, but when the big players get their goods overseas, how can any economy recover, especially as these overseas players (as implied by the Guardian), can rely on profits through slave labour. This goes further than just the shrimps, other food items or clothing. It shows a disconnection from the people, you see economies are more than just behemoths, we could see them as parasitic in nature, which sounds wrong, but is actually very correct. The retailer lives off the people, but can only do so if the people can spent. It is a symbiotic relationship; it requires the host to remain alive. Large businesses have forgotten about that, they focus on where the profit is, not on the required equilibrium, so as places like India grew form a third world market into a super economy.

Cycles of equilibrium

The people outsourcing, seem to forget that its own population is every bit as important, so as that group falter, so will businesses slowly but surely. As we see that cycle progress, is it not strange that the US Economy remains booming? A nation with many people unemployed; even more people in a state of poverty; 15% in poverty, this gets us a little more than one in seven in poverty, meaning that big business is now relying on revenue based on the remaining 5 out of 7. It looks nice in a statistical model, but as the overall quality of life goes down, that group of 5 will dwindle down too, when that happens, the economy will falter in new unprecedented ways, leaving the only option that a few people walk away with all the money they can carry to their own island and the rest is left without anything. This can be read as misrepresentation as well, but is it far-fetched? that part is not a given until we see an actual economy that truly improves, which means that the poverty line descents, people will start having a liveable income, that will give rise to shops needed and more jobs created and all that opts for the US national debt to go down by a lot, something that this administration has not achieved, more important, it might take 2-3 administrations for that debt to be addressed in any way, shape or form, which only fuels the wealth of banks and financial players. If it is addressed too quickly, the poverty line could soar far further then 21%, giving an instant crises in the US that goes beyond the imaginations of many and will be one nightmare Wall street did not foresee to this extent. Yet how would that affect the Euro? Well in two ways, as the US people will become more and more desperate for jobs, suddenly the economy looks even better on our grass, but it is an ‘economy’ for the wealthy living, the rest will see a further drop in living conditions (an assumption on my side)

So as big business ties the cat to the bacon (meaning: opportunity knocks), we must wonder how these elements call for a booming economy as an economy is reliant on people spending money, buying items and none remain to do just that.

You see, there seems to be a fluctuation on what an economy is (seriously!).

The first one we see is: “the state of a country or region in terms of the production and consumption of goods and services and the supply of money“, which is what we all believe it to be, yet the second meaning “careful management of available resources“, which we can take as “offering good value for money” and “a financial saving” last there is “the cheapest class of air or rail travel“. Weird or not, they all apply. I got them straight from the Google dictionary.

Now when we mash them we get: “the National state in terms of the production, the cheapest way possible, whilst advocating good value for money, whilst ensuring the highest efficiency in regards to managing our available resources, whilst optimising consumption of goods and services, ensuring the best supply of money through contribution“. Does that not sound very familiar? You see, it seems like a booming economy, if you are getting the money. The consumer is left with the option, whilst not guaranteeing a pool where such sufficient income can be maintained, almost a death pool of discontinued certainty.

So, how did we move away from the Euro? Well, I actually did not, you see, these elements have been a factor with American companies all over Europe, now consider how much taxation they did not have to make due to tax havens and specific invoicing? You see, a government is depending on its coffers to be filled so that there is a growth and continuation of an economy, whilst these corporations are now stating that this inherent side of the symbiotic relationship was not theirs to care for. Now we see and a loss of balance as well as a first glance on how dislodging an economy can have long lasting effects. As the Euro has less ‘floatation’ options and as some unbalanced it even further, we now see no options on the Euro side, whilst the Dollar has legal options to float its currency, unbalancing the amount further, the upped representation does the rest!

Blame Game

Now, it is important to see that I am NOT blaming the dollar for the Euro, yet it must be said that those behind the Dollar (businesses) have presented themselves overly good, so there is a secondary effect, whilst we see more and more often a changing scale of what is to be reported on. Let us be clear, several EEC nations have done this in the past, but the balance is now changing further and further, giving no one a clear view of what is real, we see presentations that are all a little out of whack, so as Europe starts its plan of credit easing, we will see the numbers jump, yet in what direction cannot be predicted (not by me at least), because, if investors walk away ‘en mass’, no credit easing will do any trick, if you doubt that then look at India, is it not weird that NTT DoCoMo / TaTa, the big winner of 2013/2014 suddenly wanted to dump its one billion share? Is it not strange that in this ‘booming’ economy, all are looking on the inside? Is a booming economy not about growth? So as we ‘see’ a growing economy, is that not (usually) a sign of growth? So why are the mobile providers T-Mobile, AT&T, Sprint and Verizon all steering clear of the Indian market that is seemingly up for grabs?

So is the US economy booming, or is it going boom-boom?

 

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Not just telling you so!

This article took a little time. There is so much not happening, it is almost scary. Yet, I found a few issues that gave way to the following topics from both the past and the upcoming present.

The Dutch Economy will recover slower according to the IMF (at http://nos.nl/artikel/2007483-imf-langzamer-herstel-economie-nederland.html). Here we see the following statement in regards to this: “Het IMF dacht in oktober nog dat de Nederlandse economie volgend jaar met 1,4 procent zou groeien, dat is nu iets naar beneden bijgesteld op 1,2 procent. Dit jaar wordt een groei verwacht van 0,8 procent. Dat is overigens iets meer dan de 0,6 procent die het IMF een jaar geleden verwachtte“. “Translated: The IMF expected the Dutch economy to grow next year with 1.4%, which is downgraded to 1.2%, this year the economy will grow with 0.8%, which is slightly better than the 0.6% expected a year ago“.

Yet, when we look at my blog dated May 15th 2013 ‘A noun of non-profit‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2013/05/15/a-noun-of-non-profit/), we see the following: “The Dutch NOS reported the prediction that even though the Dutch economy will shrink another 0.5%, they do predict a growth of 1.1% next year, so basically, they expected the economy to grow 1.1%“, so that story about “this year the economy will grow with 0.8%, which is slightly better than the 0.6% expected a year ago“, seems to be retroactive rhetorical whimsy (a sort of economic BS using numbers, as I see it). When we see the predictions on how they were ‘so close’, it is in its most colourful form an example about a guy having unprotected sex and then cry out ‘but I almost did not get her pregnant!’, yes, pragmatically speaking he failed by a mere six inches (you the reader can connect the dots, can’t you?).

You see, this is not whether I am right or wrong (it is a nice side effect), I am postulating the issues of managing Bad News. We see this happen all over the world, even in the more respectable places like the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. There are cogs in the system, but between these cogs is one extra cog that is slightly variable in size. You see, if the cogs are consistent as a watch, then they are always at one speed. Yet economies do not run like that, so the spring that drives it is not consistent in strength and resilience, as such the cogs would be a little variable in displaying the economy, now here is the magic cog, it is placed between two cogs so that it can shrink or expand, so as the economy slows down, then so does that cog, which means it rotates faster and commercial times will move through with the same consistency, we do not get to notice the slowing. Yet, this approach is virtual, it is nice on paper, but in reality, the money is not coming in, so the people have to make due with less, but the economy shows growth, no matter how much we cannot afford food and the items for our creatures comfort.

I think that the IMF is aware of this to some extent. Euro nations have been optimising their presentations in a few ways. Mind you, then are not cooking the books, but at times as the situation is generic, there are all kinds of posts that could be included or excluded, the difference is billions allowing for an upgrade or downgrade by one or two tenths of a percentage point. That is at the heart of it, now we see this for almost a dozen nations and the colourful loom that is called the EEC economy is now a lot less white and its product shows a fabric in all the colours of the rainbow, which is what we face now. We get incorrect presentation which will require a lot more adjusting. Doubt me? Then consider the two quotes that I showed earlier from the IMF. In an economy of 770 billion (previous Dutch GDP), the offset comes down to 3.85 billion, that covers a lot of bills. Now that you see this, consider how inaccurate some need to be to base a budget on something that is off by almost 4 billion, which is 50% of the entire budget for defence. How can this not have been ‘predicted’ better? Well, here is the crux, prediction are never accurate (and 4 billion out of 770 billion is a mere drop), yet in the end, governments all over the world will always portray them to be in a better position, then downgrade that view, yet with billions at risk, that approach seems short-sighted to me. It is almost a forced attempt to spend where there is no money, which is how we all got to be in this predicament to begin with.

To illustrate it, I will grasp to the article and link of a story done by Greg Jericho, who does an excellent job of it. It is called ‘Why isn’t the government being held to account on the China free trade deal?‘ (at http://www.theguardian.com/business/grogonomics/2014/nov/20/why-isnt-the-government-being-held-to-account-on-the-china-free-trade-deal). I do not completely agree with his assessments, but overall the picture that is painted here is quite clear and not incorrect. The first quote in this regard it “The modelling, which was used in the feasibility study, estimates that had a free-trade agreement been signed in 2005 by 2015, our GDP would have been about $3bn more than it would have otherwise been. Is that much? Well it’s about 0.37% bigger. So no, it’s not much at all“. Yes, I have warned in previous articles how dangerous it is to compare statistics, what I had not mentioned at that time, which was not in play, is that changing the base of measurement is also a good way to ‘lie with statistics’, as the article points out. I had done an example in a class I have years ago on founding a hypothesis. In there I used a Dutch municipality data set. When I compared the two in one graph, it showed how the states that were adjacent to the river ‘the Maas’ had decreased in average population, in those years that river caused damage due to flooding in several towns. Yet, the municipalities are all over that state, so does it apply? How to prove it? That is an entirely different question.

Now, I have nothing against free trade, but when we consider the large corporations not paying tax at all due to artistic accounting, adding fuel to the fire to give these large firms even more options to avoid taxation is not a good thing. So that net revenue, how is that taxed, what is more important, once this agreement is in place, how long until Google, Apple and Amazon will change their parameters to include that setup to avoid paying more taxation. How does that help Australia or Australians in any way, shape or measure? When that graph changes, export slows down and imports of all measure go up, how will free trade benefit then? I am not stating that this will happen, I am just wondering what happens if it does.

The one statement by Greg I disagree with is the one at the end “A free-trade agreement is no more a guarantee of economic growth than not having one is“; I would state “A free-trade agreement gives a lot more danger to tax avoidance on several levels than not having one“. Google, Apple and several others proved that point for the last 4 years, at present there is little chance of seeing them pay any taxation for at least another three years, then there is the solar panel debacle, but the least said the better. The fact that there is a decent issue with well over 50% of the panels (out of 600-1000 manufacturers) should give an indication that this free trade agreement, does not necessarily mean that quality will improve, with free-trade in play, that list consisting of dozens upon dozens of articles will sharply rise. How to guarantee that quality? The article does not reflect on that (was not meant to do so), but that issue will be (better stated should be) on our minds too. There is however one side that we should consider. We forget how rich the Chinese culture is. I believe that China could become a serious player on the video games market. Some of these stories would translate into different genres of games on every console. I am not talking about South South East China (most people call it Taiwan), I am referring to Guangzhou, Shanghai and Beijing. One of the strongest cultures has not presented itself digitally in any strong way, which is a shame, because in the end, gamers care for good games, not where it was made.

Why the jump to games and gaming? Well, it is one of the markets I know a lot of. We might be on par with IT, engineering and other options, but gaming in China, original gaming in China is a relative unknown. We tend to look at Japan for that. Well, guess what, Nintendo has been rereleasing games for some time now (good games mind you), but they are slowly becoming an iteration of what was an original concept. It is not about the games (well, it is only to some extent), I believe that new innovation, new IP and new, truly mindboggling advances come from interaction. We need IP, advances and new opportunities, these come from fields we have not seen yet. If you doubt it, consider 1993, when a game named Doom entered into our lives. Most will not remember it, but it changed gaming in a massive way. I still believe that this game became the spark that would be the conception of what would become in 1998 the Unreal engine. That would change gaming forever, even today, 16 years later, many games are relying on the unreal engine, and some of the artwork created today through the Unreal engine is so amazingly sharp that it makes the result almost undistinguishable from reality. That is the foundation I believe we can see, another jolt in the advance of gaming. That is a development which will not just remain in gaming, as unreal developed, it developed a commercial need for 3D technologies and it even has military applications in more than one nation today. I believe that the multi-billion dollar games industry has the potential to drive a trillion dollar commercial need for innovation; we only need to find the right combination to make it work.

That’s just the opinion of one blogger, but I feel fairly certain it is a shared opinion.

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Public naming

The title seems clear, but hat is linked to all this is not that clear. It all started this morning when we all (those who watched) got confronted with another round of bad news events and all linked to banks. Barclays is scrapping another 20,000 jobs between now and the end of 2016, which might be not that great. However, today we heard that the actual number for 2014 will 14000. That is an entirely different kettle of fish. In addition, the issues with co-op are going on and on which means that the drastic changes there could mean that we see an additional but different change, which will impact many. Although no one is likely to shed a tear when all but one member of the board of directors join the non working class. Lets get back to Barclays though. Here we were told that another change is happening too.  Sky News kindly informed us that Barclays might split up in a bad bank and Barclays, moving over 100 billion in assets into that bad bank deal option. So, when a company goes south, they shed the skin, just like a snake and they dump what is undesirable. Is it good business?

This is a thought that, as a non-economist, is harder to answer for me. Is this about top-level bonuses as well as the dividend for the shareholders? If their dividend is not good enough, make a drastic change. That in itself is not bad business, however, the fact that the top people get a deal after the bad bank deal and they still end up with a huge bonus whilst well over 10000 lose their job is not something anyone should consider as an acceptable act, not to mention the issue of where the bad bank invoice ends up getting paid. So again it is a factor of non accountability, the bad choices will not affect these high end bonus getting executives, it seems all nice to those people.

All this was seems to be just a prelude for the small text the people would see, if they read the text-bar under the interviews. The text “the euro commission expects 17 out of 18 euro zone economies to grow“. Really? I had already predicted that the economy would slowly get better, but not until 2015. Yes, the economies might make a little over 0%, yet the damage that still is (like unemployment), would not see any improvement until 2015 at the earliest and the people will not see any real improvements until late 2015, perhaps even 2016. This would of course depend on the nation where it was happening. The only bright light in that segment was the interview with Roger Bootle. He seems to have a handle on the events and as such, his new book ‘the problem with Europe‘ should be an interesting read.

Where is my issue? Well, that is as always a fair question. You see, Euro zone or not, there are levels of interaction here, so as some nations will start seeing improvements to their economy, others would not see those improvements to any extent this year, which is just the way things tend to be. This entire enterprise of 17 out of 18 economies going positive implies that this implies to be management on several scales, as well as the fact that there seems to be a level of ‘bad’ reporting. I will add to this stating that we all should demand the public naming of those commissioners who signed off on such a brash statement when this prediction does not pan out. If these people are so stating that 17 of 18 economies will grow, then we all should know the names of the people stating that as well as get insight into the raw data and the sources. Those involved, when the prediction fails should all get FIRED!

Reasoning? Well, we know where Greece is at, and as such, their economy will be only barely be getting by as austerity measures will keep on having a hold on them for some time. In addition, as many in Europe are in a bad shape, tourism will remain down for some time, which means that this will also remain a non-factor for Greece. Next to that Spain is dealing with a 25% unemployment rate. That would drag down ANY economy. The issues in Italy are still not that good and France is only slowly getting up, but they have unresolved issues. That is just three of the players, which already brings us down to 15 out of 18. The UK and Germany are above the nil line, but as we see the bank issues evolve, that nil line might remain a close call for now. If you think that one bank is not that big a deal, then consider the effect that 15000 seeking a job is going to have and it is not just one bank (or two for that matter). There is a work culling going on all over Europe. When we inspect the newspapers, we see that many are slinking down and many of them are not getting able to get a new job immediately.

Oddly enough, this all reminded me of the title of a science fiction story called ‘How much for just the planet?’. This is at the heart of what we face. It seems that the economies are taking out the people as a factor. In my view, the almighty need for every player to see the economy in a sterile place is like legalising slave labour. How can any economy exist in a vacuum without people? Never mind the 20,000 at Barclays! Spain where we see one in four people without a job and Greece as a nation still scrapping jobs and having hundreds of billions in debts.

Barclays is not the first one to play the bad bank approach, but these elements, these devaluated parts as we saw in 2013 with SNS/Reaal, these all have an impact and writing off these parts without impact is not just bad, it should be wholly criminal. Consider you as a reader own personal situation. Just dump your pet (preferably dog) in the street and walk away, leave your child as it did not read as fast as all the other kids at day-care and never return, or walk away from your mortgage as the house had devaluated for over 15% and the bank wants a huge payment down on the lost value. Do you think you can do any of these matters and not get held to account? So, why are the banks not held to account, moreover, those high bosses walking away in the past usually did so with a 7 figure bonus in their pocket.

So why are we not demanding the same for the euro commissioners, the bank directors as well as, to some extent, the shareholders? They made a ‘bet’, they relied on dividend, but alas, there will be no dividend this year. Adding a bad bank solution, so that they can still get some coin is just not acceptable. If there is a bad bank and it has the write-offs of Barclays, then we should see a diminished value of the bank value and as such, the shareholders, will alas lose out on this quarter (and perhaps additional quarters) dividend.

Why?

Because, as the bank drops it’s ‘assets’, the government (and as such us the poor taxpayers), should not be confronted with the fuck up of others (please pardon my French here). Here I see where what I partially proclaimed in the past, and what the book of Roger Bootle seems to instil is that the UK stepping out of the EEC might not be a bad thing. He does state that it will be a risky thing, but is that not what economies are about? A risk paying out brings wealth and the other does not. I have spoken out against the plans of UKIP in the past, but when we consider these brash statements by the Euro commission, perhaps this path should be explored in all seriousness. Those players are all about keeping THEIR Status Quo, but at what expense? That is at the centre of the issues no one seems to be able to explain. I wonder what happens when we tally the collection of these bad bank acts (all over the EEC) and we take a line of the values and in the end, who had to pay for it all, then take another look at the costs for all those without a job and see then how well these EEC economies are doing. My guess is that 7 (not 17) out of 18 positive economies would still be a really good result.

In this article I made an earlier mention of ‘legalised slave labour‘, I think it is fair that I explain that part. We cannot just make a rambling accusation like that and let it slide.  If you are in the EEC and you have a job, then consider the work as you have been doing it for the last 5-8 years. How many of you are now structurally working overtime and not getting paid for it? I am not talking about the odd job where we put in an extra hour. No I am talking about on average working around 45 hours a week whilst only getting paid for 40. The boss is not giving you part of Friday or Monday to make it square with you. No, you hear the remarks on how the job must be saved and if the job is not complete another firm will get it, often enough those bosses end up having long lunch meetings to offset the hours they make. In this economic environment, pretty much everyone is accepting those odds, as they are afraid to lose their jobs. It is simple and plain slave labour. It is also likely that these people have been on frozen incomes for some time. So when we look at indexes like the DOW and see it rising whilst the unemployment rates remain too high, you better believe that legalised slave labour is a real factor. It goes far beyond the banks, when you look at the news all over the UK, the number of messages where a few hundred jobs were shed by almost a dozen companies in 2014 alone is staggering. This is not me judging whether these lost jobs are valid (it is their choice to do so), but the impact on the UK economy is far above negligible, which keeps the UK economy fragile for now.

Those claiming that the workforce got a whole lot more efficient should re-examine themselves. I wonder if those weeks when they are investigated are ‘suddenly’ less efficient later on. Whether these ‘enterprisers’ rely on part time people for half a day, so that those people will not get a coffee break or lunch break, or that the full workday people end up working a little late regularly is of no consequence to the bosses. As the humanity factors have left the workplace, the statement that the economy is growing just more then an incorrect statement, it is flat out wrong!

Any economy depends on people as consumers, as service providers and as result creators. As we look at the implementation of “how much for just the economy?” we now see an incomplete and inaccurate picture.

By the way, if Barclays has used bad banks to write off the value of these assets to NIL, can I please get one of those divisions? Even at 0.1%, the division should be able to make well over 10,000,000 pounds, which is more then I have ever made in half a century. Growing big in small strides is not beyond me and it would allow me to settle comfortably.

Opportunity is where you find it, which is also part of any economy!

 

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Independent Crete

Another day, another issue of the Guardian! In it we find the article where we see how certain people lash out, in fear of the future (at http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jan/08/greece-begins-eu-presidency-austerity-intolerable). Not to be too smug about it, but even the X-Files movie told us that we could not fight the future.

I keep a slightly more open mind at that point, as most of these actions are based upon what was done in the past. So when we read the quote “Following four years at the sharpest end of Europe’s debt and currency crisis and €250bn in bailout funds, the Greek government declared enough was enough.” we should add that the Greek can have that opinion, yet at that point someone will make the statement “Can we have it back please?

At this point, the Greek government will come up short by a lot!

The second quote is the ‘interesting’ one “a senior policymaker in Brussels said: ‘The worst of the crisis is over. So the pressure to take tough measures is off. We’ve had enough of discipline, enough of sanctions, we’re sufficiently unpopular already. The worst is over, so let’s stop now.’

Let us take a slight look at that statement. Is that policymaker one of those same ‘not too bright’ individuals who stated in the 2005-2010 era that it would be OK with the debt? How did that work out? In my mind, the utter idiocy of several decisions are now in a state where no one wants to admit to anything as leaders and especially middle management is getting cut all over the place.

Before we start ignoring the obvious, take a look at the following (at http://www.theguardian.com/business/2014/jan/09/morrisons-issues-profit-warning-sales-down). This is not just in the UK, this is happening all over the EEC. People have run out of money. Whatever they have they spend on getting debts down and making sure bills are getting paid. The worst is NOT over. There is enough evidence on several fronts, in several nations that this will last for at least another 18 months. After that it might (I stated might) improve if the economy gets better (more than 1% improvement would be needed) as per the next 6 months. If not, then the slump we see now will continue at least three months for every month after this point that the economy does not improve strongly, which means that in 4 months’ time, no improvement will mean an additional year of a slumped economy.

That same senior policymaker must feel that his/her job is decently threatened. As you read the last Guardian article, you might realise that these numbers seem to be slightly off. If this is all about the report to the stakeholders, then what are they not ‘telling’ the people?

I get the fact that to look good they need to get creative (without lying) with the presentation towards their stakeholders.

That part is reflected in the quote “The finance director, Laurie McIlwee, who is under pressure from shareholders over his handling of profit forecasts, said: ‘In hindsight we were a little too optimistic at the beginning of December there has been further weakness across the whole of the grocery market which we didn’t anticipate.’

How dim is that? In the UK not unlike the US, one in seven is currently below the poverty line. If we add the UK energy prices, there is enough indication that the UK population in 2014 is hitting its hardest time for almost 15 years. So either Miss McIlwee was not looking in the correct area, or she was gladly ignoring the issue on more than one level. There is not hindsight here. This is a harsh reality, which has been known and will remain for at least another year. So what ludicrous data is this senior policymaker exactly in possession of?

This goes a lot further then the UK. The Netherlands is in a similar dip, Sweden is presently not in a good shape and the least we state about France, Ireland and Italy the better. When it comes to Spain, we are likely to see much more hardship. The unemployment drop in Spain seems interesting, but when we consider that December, with the holidays, usually has many temp workers in action, the misrepresentation of ‘better times’ is utterly unacceptable until the data proves that the drop of these numbers continue as we enter February and March, only then will there be evidence of less depression. I intentionally avoid the word ‘optimism’ here as youth unemployment remains well over 50% in Spain, the highest in Spanish history. When I read a quote like “And now, buy Spanish bonds and stocks, because ‘the recovery’ is here“, I feel a dangerous game coming on. To be frank, I fear that Spain and Greece are in such bad shapes they both will have a hand in dragging down Europe. That point comes from the issue that France and Italy have no option to intervene. The Netherlands and Belgium are in severely weakened positions, which leave the UK and Germany.

Because of earlier, self-imposed austerity Germany was able to keep a strong back (and they had several industrial advantages), yet the UK is not out of the woods, so when I read ‘the worst is over‘ that might have a foundation of correctness (not a truthful one), the issues we face over the next year will make it essential that Austerity continues in several nations. In addition, when you seek for Austerity we see all these US articles on how this is not an option. On which grounds is this not a solution? Let us not forget that it was the US and its bankers that dropped a 10+ trillion dollar junk hike on all of our heads. When exactly did those bankers go to jail? (The hidden answer is never)

So getting back to Greece! The news on September 23rd 2004 by the New York Times states “Greece confessed to having repeatedly misrepresented significant economic data before it joined the European currency union.

In addition the quote “The problem would not be so serious if it had happened only one year” shows that this had been going on for a long time. Consider that this is about billions. Did the Greek not consider the invoice that would follow? So many billions in a nation with a population of only 10 million. The NY Times article implies that the debt hike was well over 30 billion, with the rest of the ‘mis presented’ data like the Goldman Sachs issues gives way to a massive debt that goes beyond 25,000 dollars for every Greek. In addition, it continued to spend will over its means for well over a decade. That is well over a year of income for every Greek, and that only works if that nation has ZERO costs to operate. It is not a realistic picture. This all points towards one and the same conclusion, the Greek population will be under massive pressures for at least another 5 years. After that the pressure will lower, but the Greeks could face another decade of poverty. The reason for this is that as prices all over Europe will go up, the income they have will not suffice and soon thereafter, even those with a job will learn that what they have will diminish further, which is a bleak outlook.

So when we realise all this, why are they still blaming the Germans and Merkel? It was their own government that got them in this situation. In addition, when we read the response by George Soros “Angela Merkel’s policies are giving rise to extremist movements in the rest of Europe.” New issues rise here. Yes, I am NOT a billionaire, but I have issues with the claims of George Soros. I have had several over the years and so far I have little faith that he serves any issue other than what he sees as ‘a priority’. His quote does ring correct but they are not true in my view. It is poverty, frustration and jealousy that give rise to extremism. Germany after the pressure of the Versailles treatment gave rise to the Nazi’s. So in that regard George Soros is correct. The fact that this debt was not from the people themselves is also correct in the case of pre WW2 Germany and Today’s Greece. The ‘not true’ part is that in the time of Nazi Germany the people got pushed into extremism by its own government, today’s extremism is due to inaction by their own governments. There is the real difference. It would be interesting to see the picture where we see mapped where all these governments get all their money from. Who lends to the government? There is the foundation of government inaction. In case of Greece, several parties would have had to intervene a decade ago. This never happened. That inaction is dragging down all of Europe.

The issue that is correct, true and dangerous is the European election. People have had enough and in several nations there could be a European segregation. This means that what comes will worsen it for all parties involved. The far Right like the Dutch PVV, the British UKIP and the French National Front could imply the end of the Euro as it currently is. This threat and the danger that connects it is real. So whatever a senior policymaker claims in regards to the worst is over. That is not even close to true, it is not even likely in the best outcome, which is already extremely unlikely. So what to do?

Here the title comes into play. I have always had a soft spot for Crete. I love that island! In my long life I have had less than half a dozen actual vacations. Crete is the only place I had moments of actual rest and tranquility. If the Greek way of life is to survive, then the best option in my personal view is for Crete to become independent, preferably before Greece drags them down into nothingness.

 

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Greece is for Sale!

This country has roughly 51,000 square miles of development land. It is known for its good weather, for the views that many of the local locations offer, its historical treasures and it comes with a possible workforce of 11,000,000. For the clever investors, this nation can be reverted to the Drachma after sale, if so desired; hence the owner will have its own currency to manipulate. The price of the package is 325 billion Euro. If payment has been made and ownership is transferred the current population can be seen as trespass. Please feel free to dispose of these trespassers as you see fit. In addition Greece has little natural resources. The oil reserves around Thesos are rumoured to have been depleted and the fish supply in the Mediterranean is no longer what it was. Possible quick coin can be made by selling of the national treasures of Greece, including statue and art going back to 1500 BC.

This is the selling pitch! First come, first serve!

Did I get your attention? Good!

I read about another protest in Greece and I thought that it was time to keep a mirror up, one that they will not like, but then at times the truth is truly an ugly entity to watch.

I understand these Greeks, I do get it, they got handed a short straw and they have no options. Yet, instead of blaming the Germans and the IMF, it should be made clear that they did not cut, slice and dice the Greek population; it was their own government who did that. A government that had spent well over 40,000 euro’s for every Greek, money that the Greek government never had and what they did have was never anywhere near that amount of money. For half a decade the Greek government increased spending by roughly 90%, whilst no more than 30% of that was received in taxation. Now if this had been an one year event, then that would not have been too bad, but they continued this for well over half a decade. An important extra fact is that this happened AFTER the Olympic Games. My personal view is that some of these spenders thought that they got some golden credit card that would never demand payment. Such a card does not exist, not now, not ever.

The sad part of all this is that their Austerity measures will not work. The debt is too high for that. Even if the government cuts costs for 80%, it would still take a decade to get rid of the debt. However, at that time Greece will be either without a population of it will have one that is sick, dying and unable to feed itself. The fact that those events are ignored in many places and that we read about is all about the IMF withholding funding, so what to do?

First of all, the entire ‘wealth’ approach towards Greek real estate needs to stop right now. It looks lovely when we see some of these $800K houses all over Greece, yet the amount of people that can afford this, and then the part of that part that will ACTUALLY consider buying it is so small it will not get you anything.

Any realtor coming with some story that it will work is fooling you, and the Greek population has been fooled for long enough. If you are serious about getting tourism and money to Greece then look at creating studio’s and one bedroom apartments in batches of 50 all over Greece. Not stacking them together is also an important part. Think of the next generation that would consider buying a small place now, giving them a holiday spot for years to come. Some will work from there, some will share it. You need to get people there so it means that you need to get them a place where they want to stay. When you start getting 50-100 thousand permanent tourists who will return and who now have a stake in Greece, it means that a connection is made.

Another business is the greying population of Europe. These small places are also a nice option for those who prefer to spend their retirement funds in other places. Those who will happily avoid the UK, Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Denmark and other places, where the summer is only 3 months, to come to Greece where they can live in summer conditions for 6-7 months a year. We are looking at an optional few thousand of these tourists, able to spend a few hundred Euros a month, whilst enjoying life in a nicer place. That adds up to many millions a month quite quickly. Health care, home care, all options for revenue. These steps are not enough, but they are a start and instead of trying to get impossible prices for houses no one want (because they cannot afford it), look at the options people do want. In Spain similar bad calls were made, placing high end housing that collapsed. Well over a hundred million Euro with no options. Get a grip and start to offer options that will sound good and before you know it, Greece will end up with an additional few thousand people who need a daily bread, a daily piece of beef and some milk. And those retirees often have more than one form of healthcare, which could restart the Greek healthcare system in a very slim lined form. These are elements that start an economy, not the empty protest against facts that can no longer be changed and only make things worse.

These steps will not be enough, but it will be a start. It will take a few dozen more of these options to start making any kind of an impact to restore some sense of Greek economy.

 

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