Tag Archives: EEC

Saturation in Denial

Last week the Guardian published one of the weirder stories. It’s from Lisa O’Carroll and Gwyn Topham with the title ‘Ryanair ‘will have to suspend UK flights’ without early Brexit aviation deal‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/apr/06/ryanair-uk-flights-brexit-deal-wto), why do we care?

The subtitle is a little more interesting, but for very different reasons, so when you see ‘Falling back on WTO rules without a bilateral arrangement would be ‘disastrous’, says airline’s finance chief‘, you need to look beyond the claim given.

Why is this funny?

When you see the quote “Ryanair has warned it will have to halt flights from the UK for “weeks or months” if Theresa May does not seal an early bilateral Brexit deal on international aviation“, we need not worry, we can howl with laughter at the implied push for stress, both Lisa O’Carroll and Gwyn Topham should know better! You see, when you go to www.skyscanner.com.au, and I seek a flight from London to Amsterdam, I get flight offered from $198, for a return. Now, the issue is not the price, the issue is that between the 9th and 10th of April, I get offered 1295 results, stretching 130 pages of flights over a period of 24 hours. Now, we can agree that this does not apply for all locations. For example flights to Munich will only give 934 results and Stockholm gives me 981 options. So basically, there are more options to get from London to either Amsterdam, Munich or Stockholm, than there are trains from London to Birmingham! Now, it is a fair call that this place is filled with Ashton Villa fans, so why would you want to go there, but the direct issue is given. When we see the quote “Ryanair’s UK flights were only 2% of its business, said Sorahan“, so why on earth are we wasting time on a non-issue? Especially when the quote “He said: “We could still operate within that 1960s bilateral agreement” which established mutual flying rights between the Netherlands the UK” is found down the line. It is actually Pieter Elbers, the chief executive of Dutch national carrier KLM, who gives us value with: “It’s a worry. The instability and uncertainty is not good for business. However, it’s premature to go into this will or won’t happen“, which is actually right on course. Any action now is just premature for now and this visibility for Michael O’Leary whilst this is 2% of a saturated business is a bit out of whack on the best of days. A small outdated statistic is: “On a typical July day there are around 30,000 flights across European airspace“, 30,000 flights! Now we can agree that in July plenty of people get on a plane for an annual vacation, yet consider that we are talking about 8-12 million people per day (a wild guess in action). So when we consider Ryanair giving us grief over his 2% fleet, he should perhaps take a gander towards other shores?

This all follows with two more quotes “Brexit has already forced other airlines such as EasyJet into moving aircraft to enable continuity of business” and “Sorahan said Ryanair had planned to grow by about 15% in the UK last year but had instead posted growth of about 6%” The first part gives strength to the statement by KLM executive Pieter Elbers, ‘it’s premature‘ which gives us that some executives like those in EasyJet have a bigger grasp on their continuity of a bonus, than a sound approach towards a saturated market. The second one gives us that Ryanair missed its forecast by nearly 10%, so is this really about some Brexit deal, or is this about an airline that missed its target by 10%, from a 2% group. I am even amazed that this is on the radar of Neil Sorahan. When we consider the Financial Times last year, we see (at https://www.ft.com/content/f337fb7f-b4ba-3ad8-b50b-c698dd7a2adb), where we see “Revenue was €6.54bn, up 16 per cent on the year and only a nudge below analysts’s forecasts of €6.55bn” as well as “Ryanair said it expected net income in the current financial year to increase 13 per cent to between €1.38bn and €1.43bn“, which was off by 50%, so as Brexit was not in the referendum at that point, we get a slightly different view. There is no doubt that there will be a few issues in the post-Brexit era, yet to immediately go into ‘panic mode‘ by halting flights seems like an overreaction, especially as there are 1294 alternatives.

Saturation, when you can no longer absorb or dissolve!

Market saturation is a weird point. I remember meetings in the 90’s where I was part of a group of Americans and they were unable to fathom the term ‘market saturation‘, they regarded it as some fictional state of mind. The question becomes, are the airlines in a state of saturation? Now, consider the question how many of the 30,000 flights are actually an issue, especially with the fact that Ryanair has a mere 2% vested in the UK flights? Now we get that we have to look at it from the other side of the table. 10% of its fleet operates from one of 19 UK airports, so we get that there is a possible issue in the future. Now consider that Ryanair is a commercial operation that requires to have profit, which means it needs to keep its cost as low as possible. Which is a fair goal to have and when you are working a low cost range, you are definitely worried on what Brexit will bring, yet at present, it remains a premature act. Still the underlying score remains a valid one, what does a company do in a saturated market? Well, apparently they whine against journalists. OK, that is not really fair! I admit that, but jumping the shark at this point as politicians are still trying to get their bearings in a place where the facilitation of profit is the major taco to content towards, against whatever natural confrontational issue gets in the way.

That was a mouthful, so let me take a moment to set that in its right perspective. The EEC, EU, or EC; whatever name you want to give that bunny, it seems that the bulk of all European governments are focussed on profit in a place that has a stagnating economy. The problem from my point of view is that profit in a stagnating economy tends to limit those pursuing it to a spreadsheet life merely focussing on next quarter. In this economy the essential need will be to set an agenda towards the next 10 years, not the next quarter. The stock market, the speculators and forecasters state. They are setting the tone for panic modes and sour feelings, even as Ryanair is still moving forward. So, even as Ryanair is trying to get a stronger handle on its ‘Always Getting Better‘ programme, it needs to remain flexible to stay afloat (or flying). In this, they will soon feel a pressure going towards dashboards and short term reporting instead of growing a big data collective where they will enable themselves to get ahead of their main competitors. For that they need visionaries, not reactionists. In that Brexit will fuel the need for reactionists in panic mode, whilst the larger players need to do the exact opposite, take the possible hits they might get and after that move forward stronger, because if Brexit is any indication, the European mainland side will be hitting a recession shelf that is not unlike the 2008 events, but will take longer to overcome. In this several parties have been trying to postpose these events, yet the more postponing we see, the larger the effect will be when it hits and the longer it will last.

Again in this side we will see another emerging wave. The wave of saturation will reflect onto corporations and they will give us new waves of redundancies, where the groups of less significance will collapse opening up options for the flexible larger players, when that happens, those who do not have the data collections in place will lose out on several percentage points of margin in their commercial options. The size and scope cannot be predicted, anyone who claims to do so will not be worthy of your time in this. The fact that these systems have been delayed by a large amount of players will set them back and whilst they start fighting to get ‘something’ in place in the 11th hour does not mean that they remain a player, it merely means that they have invested in a system too late. In this I do believe that if we see a serious approach to their ‘Always Getting Better‘ programme, they could have some benefits, yet that can only be stated with any certainty if we compare what their main competitors offer against what is currently in place. Brexit has nothing to do with that, it is optionally pushing some players to up their game, we must accept that there is a reality that some industries will feel the impact of Brexit, the extent cannot be stated and should not be speculated on, the best solution is to be vigilant and see what improvements can be installed to increase the value of their company and the services that they provide. Big data is only one element and it is not a prophet on a pedestal, it is a tool that allows options if the company has certain levels of flexibility, whether that market is saturated or not, focussing on an event that the people want is not productive.

 

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Dangerous levels of extinction

Bloomberg reported Yesterday that Nicola ‘Sturgeon Sticks with Timing for Scottish Independence Referendum‘ (at https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-04-01/sturgeon-sticks-with-timing-for-scottish-independence-referendum), which is a little odd after the previous one not so long ago. As I stated in earlier blogs, I am not against Scottish independence, I think that at the earliest point, Scotland should seek independence. Yet at this point it is not a good idea. The situation has not changed for Scotland, at present their budget is already 11% short and that is with the inclusion of decreasing oil revenues. This means that within 10 years there will be additional problems for Scotland. And this is only the start of their troubles. You see RTE reported only 12 hours ago ‘Spain would not ‘initially’ block Scotland from joining the EU after Brexit‘, the catchword is ‘initially‘, we see the quote “any part of the United Kingdom that becomes a state and wants to join the EU will have to apply. And follow the steps that are stipulated“, this is the part that matters. Basically until Scotland is truly independent there is every chance that Spain would object, and that is just one of the 27 nations. After that when Scotland is independent, the initiation into the EU would start, which could take up another 5 years, perhaps even more. That is the part Scotland faces, so Scotland is facing the consequence of independence, growing a ‘national‘ debt and after that we see the issue that Scotland would be debt driven and getting into the EU, a triple banking issue (debt, interest and inflation levels), all levels that Scotland would need to overcome.

For example, try googling Scotland and economy and see what you get. What economic achievements did Scotland have gained in the last two years? The Financial Times gives us a part I actually do not agree with (at https://www.ft.com/content/7c6f8ca8-0807-11e7-97d1-5e720a26771b) ‘The economic case for an independent Scotland rests on the EU‘, to that the Scottish response should be: ‘the dog’s bollocks they are!‘ In this Scotland needs to grow an economy, so far, as long as Nicola Sturgeon has been in power, not too much has been gained in that department. I am certain that there are options, I even mentioned one in April 2015, (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2015/04/05/the-labour-manifesto/) where I write “I am still reasonably certain that Indian generic medication could grow all over Europe if they have a foothold in Scotland, which allows easy access to places all over Europe“, so which Scottish politician had actually made any headway into looking beyond the EU, its ECB with big debt credit cards? Because when the credit card stops, Scotland will be in levels of hardship they have not seen before for the longest of times. At that point, who will the Prime Minister be when that happens and where will that person lay the blame?

In the end that is a Scotland that has no chance to build any future at all. How is that a good idea?

So as we see that Scotland is focusing on the USA with the added quote from Bloomberg “She also noted her political differences with President Donald Trump, who owns golf resorts in Scotland. During the election campaign, the Scottish government stripped Trump of his role as business ambassador for the country“, which sounds nice, but how did she fare with Corporate America? Scotland might be open for business, but where is the interest in Scotland? How about the Far East? How could Scotland become a hub for places like Indonesia, India, Pakistan and China? With Beef as an export, why not benefit by creating a European Halal Trade centre in Scotland? With ferries leading to Norway and a growing Muslim population, there are options, it only requires the right politician to open certain doors. I am not saying this is a solution, I am merely showing that options are there, the right people only need to look into the right direction. Because, as I see it, relying on the USA and ECB grants will not work, not whilst Europe is in the state it currently is. With Italy set to grow no more than 0.9%, its position is weaker than France and its youth unemployment still stands at 38%, implying that Italy’s infrastructure will remain under harsh levels of duress for several more years. The quote “Italy’s chronically low growth, low inflation and gigantic public debt burden (133% of GDP) make a potentially deadly trio” gives us even more to worry about (source: the economist), with the UK having triggered Article 50, France elections still having the consequence of a Frexit signal and Italy under the duress it is in, the European Union will only have Germany to be the large positive impact player on its economy and that one is not faring too well either. So this is the moment Nicola Sturgeon want to enter the EU whilst going independent? It is not just a bad plan, with a non-closing budget she will be drowning Scotland into debt and this debt will grow and grow leaving Scotland with no options for any future at all.

Yet we could go with the definition of Sturgeon that she is honouring. I cannot state whether this is the same for both Prime Ministers and fish, yet the International Union for Conservation of Nature gave us: “According to the IUCN, over 85% of sturgeon species are classified as at ‘risk of extinction’“, which is a large group that Nicola Sturgeon seems to be happy to join, the sad part is that she would like the whole of Scotland to join her in this, which is really not a good idea, or fair on the population of Scotland.

 

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How the Franks make France

It is possibly one of the first times that the entire world is keeping their eyes on France and on its elections. The situation as seen in France has not happened since Charles de Gaulle. France in a state of massive changes, changes that are essential if it wants to have any options of shedding the massive debt it has and restructure the options of owning a stronger economy. The question becomes, who will be the enabler in that regard. The BBC shows us (at http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-39038685) how 5 charts will explain the elections. The first shows the growth of Front National, the party of Marine Le Pen. The quote “Opinion polls currently suggest Marine Le Pen would be defeated in the second round by Emmanuel Macron. Without the backing of a traditional political party, the former economy minister, who has never held an elected office, is standing as a centrist candidate” is in the central place here. She might be front runner now, but there is the real issue that Marine Le Pen is seen as too much of an extremist. Even as part of her strength is seen in the second chart where we see how unemployment rates have sky rocketed under President Hollande and that level of dissatisfaction has been an enabling factor for Marine Le Pen. The 4th chart is also a Le Pen indicator. As France has been hit multiple times, the people started to listen to the logic of Marine Le Pen and as such all drove straight towards the far right. That is the way of things. The 5th one is less of a positive influence, but it is an influence none the less. As the amount of asylums are given increase, the rejection of the social path of France will increase and that too works for Marine Le Pen. In all this, the consequence is equally a positive part for Macron. Emmanuel Macron is making strong headway and to many French, the preferred choice. Yet, Emmanuel Macron has never held office, which counts against him, as an economist he does have an edge, but that would only work if his policies had resulted in jobs, which was not the case. The reality, or better stated, the stronger reality is that for those under 25, 1 out of 4 does not have a job and that is where Marine Le Pen is getting a growing traction. No matter how the French here on how important social issues are, the reality of no work translates to hunger and uncertainty. In addition, Hollande has data in play that shows that the high point of his economy was a year ago and decline is already showing, this translates to even more people moving from the left towards the centre and the right side of the isle, all moving towards Macron and Le Pen. With the UK showing a growing economy whilst Brexit is starting is also pushing the people to listen to Marine Le Pen and that is the reality that will continue, yet will it translate to enough votes? There is the uncertainty and I predicted that it was a reality France was facing. A reality I have claimed for over 2 years now and so far I have been proven correct. However, this does not take Emmanuel Macron out of the race. There the reality is that anyone feeling too uncertain regarding the more right wing Marine Le Pen that voter might hesitate and decide on Macron instead, a choice that is logical yet untested and unproven. It is the unproven part that the French also realise, so Marine Le Pen stays in the race. The one factor that matters is Benoit Hamon. Now, he might not be the front runner and he will not amount to serious opposition of large numbers, but the one part that still matters is whether he can get enough votes to make the 50% impossible for Marine Le Pen, that is now the game that plays, the others are not able to do anything serious to that extent. It is now starting to be merely a race between Macron and Le Pen, Hamon would enable the situation that a second round would be essential, which now takes us to May and that opens the field again, in that regard, Marine Le Pen needs to be really clever on how she plays the game. In addition, she needs to be clever on how to oppose or diffuse any situation that the anti Le Pen press is pushing onto her.

The NY Times (at https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/07/opinion/france-braces-for-the-now-possible-impossible.html) is now stating ‘France Braces for the Now-Possible Impossible‘, which only shows that they are either two years late to the party, or they just did not care before. Sylvie Kauffmann talks a good article, but she misses when she states “This is a French campaign like no other. All the political patterns established since 1958, when the present Constitution was adopted, have come apart. The National Front has been a fixture of national politics for 40 years, but never before has its presidential candidate been a consistent front-runner. Today, none of Ms. Le Pen’s opponents doubt that she will get to the second round; in fact, they are not even fighting her. They are fighting among themselves to win second place on April 23, to have a chance to beat her in the runoff“, she is not stating anything incorrect or wrong, it is the one additional fact that is important. This is also the first time in modern history that a current president is not seeking re-election, which she does mention on the side. The scandals we saw and the consecutive “François Fillon, a conservative former prime minister who is now the Republican candidate, has stopped campaigning” is another part of the sliding numbers to go in other directions, yet, will they go towards Marine Le Pen. A smaller influence is the Dutch elections. The Farage-Le Pen-Wilders triangle is pretty famous. Yet in all this the US is now an influence, because with every claim that President Trump is making, the people are confronted with a connection to each of these three and a reason why not to make the same mistake the US has made, with ludicrous claim after ludicrous claim, the Republican win is now hurting the right side vote in both France and the Netherlands, but will the shift be enough? Those matters are not known and are even less predictable.

What is at this point a certainty is that in the end Marine Le Pen will be one of two parties that can be voted for, yet there is enough doubt to see that there will be a round in May, the matter will just be how will the people see this than and how far off is that 50%, because if the call is too close to that, the smallest fluctuation could change the game. Now with the 17% of Fillon in the air and the 15% of Hamon under discussion, there is the smallest chance that a slice of that will go towards Marine Le Pen actually that is certain, yet how much will go her way? If the split is even, there is now the largest chance that 23% will divide between Macron and Le Pen, setting Le Pen at 39%. I feel that Hamon will lose, but I very much doubt if he falls below 10% and that would be the best case scenario for Hamon, there is a chance that Hamon will get a few of the Fillon numbers, but I feel certain that he will lose traction within his own ranks. With 1 in 4 people under 25 not having a job, the alleged fake job that he gave his wife is not sitting well with a large part of the voters who were already looking at Le Pen and are now utterly unlikely to select anyone left of centre which works very nicely for Le Pen, but there is still a steady group that has no love for the right, so those votes will go somewhere else, or better stated these people will vote anyone but Le Pen, which could benefit Hamon to the smaller degree and Macron to a larger degree. so as those impacts are seen, there is now a serious chance that Le Pen would grow from 39% to 42%-46% and that is where the issue starts, she is now way too close to 50% and even as it is unlikely that she gets to that point passing 50%, it is not impossible and that is where the game changes by a lot, because if she gets there, she would potentially be in the strongest position to make a lot more radical changes. Like Trump, her examples would drive the Frexit start and that will be the start of the nightmare for both the US and Japan, the Euro collapsing will drive a market fear of unbridled proportions, one that cannot be countered by the players involved, which will have a disastrous effect on the global economy. CNBC has been giving voice to several dangers, which includes rate hikes (which is off the table the moment Frexit starts), Beijing is another factor, but if properly set would actually create stability and less uncertainty. It is the utterly unbelievable part that the Financial Tribune is giving us. They proclaimed that the global economy is expected to grow 3.5% in 2018, which sounds nice, but unrealistic. You see, the changes that are essential to growth are in the wrong corners as I personally see them. If Frexit starts than the contractions in Europe will start an escalating drop, making a global economy growth of 1.5%-2% decently unlikely. Frexit is the first cornerstone, the Brexit escalation that comes, or will drive the change is another part. These two will now push Italy and Germany in very different directions making the Euro no longer a feasible currency, especially as Mario Draghi was kind enough to spend a 13 figure number onto an economy that would not hike or set in motion to the degree that was essential. So as we see the quote “Its forecasts remained broadly unchanged from its November report, however, both the US and the eurozone saw minor downgrades“, we see it without the mention that this happened even as the UK economy went upwards. Market volatility is actually the smallest influence for now, but that will change before the end of the year. So as we see the dangers of a recession slam in either Q2 or Q3, we will see it with the realisation that the forecast given by the Financial tribune was not that realistic, just prophesising on sunny weather with a few small clouds whilst we see storms on Eastern and Southern shores, and there is no way to pierce the fog from the remaining directions, a dark fog that seems unable to have any sunshine. All that and two additional dangers remain unexplored. That is given not in who gets into power, but the danger that no matter who goes into power, the new players will be inexperienced in many ways; that too will stagnate any positive move from the economy. The only bright spot is that in Germany there are differences growing, especially as Alternativ fur Deutschland has started rounds of infighting, the final straw of anti-Europe will not be in any position to move into that direction, the question then becomes what will Italy do? Even as Merkel is facing a much stronger SPD, that election will not come until 4-5 months after France, which means that Frexit, if called for would also impact the German grounds of choice. In addition we see more waves of ‘Grexit’ news on the need for cutting Greece lose. Which is not an option in EEC laws, and I am surprised that the PRESS has not caught on yet (especially as they played that fake card twice already). All these elements are in play and they will together result in a global economic growth of less than 2%, especially if the European economy contracts a little too much and that is decently certain to happen.

A rollercoaster economy that is about to be started by the modern version of the Franks that make up the French population. In this the trend is as I see it no longer about some united fake region, it is about growing nationalism and national pride, because that will also grow an economy. We all forgot about that (me, myself and I included). You see, there might be open borders, there might be free travel, but as we forgot in which place we were we also forgot on what made that place great. The beers of Belgium, the cheeses and wines from France. Some might claim that this is not true, but it is and we lost sight of it. Because we only value that what requires effort, a reality we have always faced, we just forgot about it and the larger companies had a better time by offering us something mediocre and unhealthily cheap, something that fitted too many of us. I personally believe that this is most clearly seen in the gaming industry, which is why I recognised the flaw in myself early on.

The good thing about all this is that as national pride grows in all the nations, we will see a drastic improvement of appeal and quality, I believe that the smaller places will now have the option to grow and that will drive the economies. So as Carrefour and Auchan end up talking to a new group of suppliers, France will witness a shift in economy, not one that maximises the bonus of larger provider of goods, but enables deliveries from smaller players and they do not have the board sizes that some of the current players have, so it actually will end up driving the economy. It sounds crazy and weird, but I believe this path to be the first drive of growth.

That would benefit the economic numbers of France enormously and it will also push other nations into reinvestigating the options for growth. The Financial Times show part of this (at https://www.ft.com/content/6de52a3a-aca4-11e6-9cb3-bb8207902122), yet this growth is mainly due to other factors. John Ellis, retail & consumer partner at PwC, gives us an interesting point here: “Over the next few months, the way in which retailers deal with cost headwinds, particularly the impact of foreign exchange on product prices, will be crucial for consumers’ future spending patterns.

He is correct in that way, however, I also believe that as people will seek more and more local solutions (read: deals) it will actually drive the local economies stronger in an upwards direction, and in that, I am predicting that the same will happen in France. The second part he is not giving us is that the individual currencies will allow national governments to float their currency ever so slightly to avoid massive negative impacts, something that was not an option under the Euro. So another tool will be handed to the French as they restore the imbalance that their economy has faced for well over a decade. I do not believe it will be the measure towards success, it merely avoids the chance of failure, which is also a driving force in any economy.

Now, feel free to completely disagree with me, which will always remain a valid view. Yet when we see the impact of positivity that segregation has and if Marine Le Pen cashes in on this, than we will see a second step in the European economy that will stop the Euro. As we end with that coin, did anyone tally how many European officials are no longer required? How much did they cost? A gravy train that was riding the slopes of Europe at the expense of taxpayers, whilst for the larger extent not having any positive national impact. We are talking of a group that exceeds 32500 people. So how much was that costing on a monthly basis? 751 MEP members were getting a monthly pre-tax salary of €8,484.05. That’s already 6.3 million a month, so how much for the other 31,750 employees? Let’s not forget that this is a monthly expense. So I reckon that the sweet reality is that there will be a positive impact on budgets. Now these costs are not going away immediately, but I think I am making a clear point that national costings will change.

France is about to start a wave of changes, or better stated, there is a real change that massive changes will commence, but in the end, we will have no certainties before the elections are over and until France makes a claim and voices the intent to exit the EEC, there is no certainty that there will be actual change, because the Euro could survive without the UK, but not if the economy contracts, in that case several options will go straight out the window for several European nations, especially those in the EEC. Mario Draghi has made sure of that. You see, when we accept Bloomberg view (at https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-03-08/draghi-s-caution-on-inflation-signals-ecb-stimulus-stays-for-now), where we see “The rate remains stuck below 1 percent, but what’s worse is that the trend has consistently pointed down in the euro’s 18-year history, suggesting structural weaknesses may be at play” a weakness I mentioned (in a different way) in several earlier blogs, is now getting more and more to the forefront. Bloomberg also gives us “the measure that excludes volatile components such as food and energy” gives us that in a dangerously low setting volatile products will still have an impact. The additional “After policy makers’ preferred gauge of future price developments approached levels of below but close to 2 percent at the end of last year — signalling the ECB’s goal was in sight — it’s now on the wane once more” gives more and more strength to my prediction of economic contractions, which now also gives a view that any prediction of a global economic growth of 3.5% in 2018 is getting less and less realistic. so as we see positive forecasts from several sources, we need to be careful on who we will believe, because like several nations stated in earlier years, the forecast of today will soon be shown to be overly optimistic one quarter later, which is after the ‘predictors’ got some of the players to unwisely spend what they should not have been spending. A game that has been played for too long, it is the national push that gives for change and more important, it gives for a push by people who can be held accountable and can at that point be incarcerated, which tends to make certain forecasters a lot more cautious and it will give us an actual realistic economy to work with. It might not be great and in the beginning it will also not be good, but it will be mending and growing, which is what the people want and need. In that we have to voice with certainty that we do not give a fuck on what large corporations want or desire to get them their bonuses, we have had way too much of that for too long.

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This last day

This last day should be a day of reflection, a day of consideration. I feel none of these things as I am observing the mistakes that Marine Le Pen is now making. I get why she would get the referendum vamped up and get stronger waves towards Frexit, yet her call to leave NATO makes a lot less sense. For one, NATO still does mean the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, France is part of that North Atlantic, she has a duty of care there (a lot less so for the EC, the EEC or the Euro for that matter). She does make a point when we look at the expansion into Eastern Europe. Let’s face it, when we look into the original line, there was Germany which goes a lot to the south, then basically it is Italy. Getting into Eastern Europe makes a lot less sense. Let’s not forget, the Americans at present no longer have the means to play this game. A fact Lockheed needs to take into consideration, even if the price of the F-35 is given without an engine ($133 million, without engine), making it basically the most expensive paperweight in history. In addition, it came with a truckload of issues in 2014, whilst the 2015 report states “the majority of the fixes and for capability deficiencies being discovered are being deferred to later blocks rather than being resolved“, with new items of concern added. I found the additional quote form the 2015 report “inherent design problems that are only becoming more obvious and difficult to fix” most amusing, so if Marine Le Pen has in mind to not go anywhere near a Lockheed design, that would make sense. Now I do not want to brag, but with all my flying hours in the Microsoft Flight Simulator (2004), I might actually beat that latest flawed Lockheed F-35 with my experience in a Mikoyan MiG-35 (OK, I am bragging a little as I have never flown ANY jet in my life). What is the issue is that the politicians have not kept a good accord on the military abilities of the armed forces, not the people mind you, but the equipment they get stuck with. As such we see a 1.5 trillion dollar project showing more holes than an IKEA Pasta insert (named ‘Stabil’, which is hilarious as it is also means stable in Swedish). A project $160 billion over budget and 7 years behind schedule, and these were the numbers in 2014. A defence project that was too big to kill and that is what the NATO partners have to content with?

So why these topics? The world is changing, it is changing faster than ever before and the minders of the store have been so selfish in regards to their own personal needs (read: visibility of self via ego) and achievements that the duty they had was pushed under the rug. This is how I personally see the F-35 project.

The financial sector in the UK alone these financial boys (girls also) had the bulk of the £44bn in bonuses this year, so did your quality of life increase any (the topic jump will make sense in a few moments)? Now, even as wealth increased, it did not do so to that extent. It is not that fair to just have a go at the financial sector, apart from the fact that they ended up with bonuses of 1900% more than the amount all the others got, so balance is not that much in play. That view is shown stronger as we look at Forbes this week (at http://www.forbes.com/sites/francescoppola/2016/12/28/greece-the-game-is-on-again/#2585dbd946e5), the quotes that matter here are “Euclid Tsakalotos, the normally mild-mannered Finance Minister, accused the IMF writers of “economizing on the truth”. He pointed out that the main reason why so few Greeks pay income taxes is that their incomes have crashed, and that nearly half of Greek pensioners are living below the poverty line” and “The IMF’s case is that pension cost as a proportion of GDP is now unsustainable, and further, that the creditors are not going to agree to debt relief while pension cost remains so high. It is probably right on both counts. But once again, what really matters is the psychological framing“, in that regard I will be on the side of the Greeks, but not on the side of Greece. You see when their previous governments got loans and misrepresented their value, they had zero consideration on what pensions were in regards to the loans that they were getting under false pretense, in that regard, did any of those politicians go to jail? Did they refund 90% of their incomes? I am certain that the answer to both is ‘No!’, in addition those elected officials are sitting pretty and nowhere near the poverty line. Yet in all this the hardship is not over, in addition, the facts (as I personally see them) requires a little more digging, especially when I read “Attica Bank, the country’s fifth-largest lender, was poised to install a new management team he thought was capable of turning round the struggling lender” which were the thoughts of Yannis Stournaras, the governor of the central bank of Greece, which was followed by “While he was in the air, the government in Athens reversed the decision to award the job to Mr Pantalakis. It was his introduction to a web of allegedly related events, ranging from a raid on his wife’s business to an unsuccessful bid for TV rights backed by Attica loans“, this gives the implied issues on Yannis Stournaras, which gives more cause concern when we see “A confidential report on Attica carried out this year by the European Central Bank, the Eurozone’s top bank supervisor, and seen by the Financial Times, cited “severe findings” of poor governance and inadequate controls on lending. With some 70 per cent of its loans rated as non-performing, Mr Stournaras and others believed Attica urgently needed a professional banker at the helm. Government sources denied any intervention in the process to select Attica’s CEO” (at https://www.ft.com/content/aab0aaba-c6db-11e6-8f29-9445cac8966f). The implications are on a few levels especially in the light of ‘government sources denied‘, there is a mess on a few levels and the idea that personal needs were adamant in decisions is not without probable cause. The levels that are in question cannot be set because too much information is missing, but there are issues, make no mistake about that.

These issues connect, not directly but in the view of national voters, governments have made absolute shambles of their nations giving power to those with key wealth management options, in that need those who need to be at the helm are politicised and set to markers that are off the table and outside of the scope of visibility to scrutinise, whilst the presentations are showing markers that do not fit the person best suited for the job, in that Greece is not the only place with such issues. In the UK Mark Carney is facing similar issues, yet in the opposite direction. The best person for the job is the one the elected government seems to have an issue with. The independent (at http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/bank-of-england-mark-carney-theresa-may-attack-monetary-policy-tory-conference-speech-a7380016.html) gives us “Mr Carney argued that the monetary policy pursued by the Bank in recent years has had a positive impact that is “without parallel”, despite the Prime Minister using her speech to claim it had led to “bad side effects”“, in addition we see “Since quantitative easing was first introduced in the economy in 2009 … there’s been 2.6 million jobs created, GDP is up 16 per cent, per capita income is up 9 per cent and this is following a trauma in the economy“, we might see this as good news, but the good news is in the UK not dripping down to the other people just yet. In addition, the dangers will change if sharp budgets are not maintained. Getting the debt down is an absolute first, it will have additional benefits down the road, yet the initial benefit is that money could go to other destinations than paying for the interest of the debt, the interest of a debt amount that is currently in excess of 1.6 trillion. This was not the first attack, Michael Gove had a go at England’s Marky Mark in October. It is always nice when a person is called arrogant, especially when that person has proven to be amongst the very best in his field on the planet. I myself had had some issues in the past with Mark Carney, yet not against the man, but the economic issues that the UK faced because of actions (read objectives) pushed for by politicians, however his speech in the House of Lords showed him to be the expert he is and he nearly got me away from the Brexit team. Yet Mark Carney himself states it very well when he said: “Politicians have done a very good job of setting up the system. Where it can be difficult, sometimes, is if there are political comments on our policies as opposed to political comments on our objectives“, in this we see the issue that is part of the problem. as the politicians set up the objectives, they are then confronted with the policies from technocrats and those two groups do not see eye to eye, so friction goes back and forth, the Lockheed F-35 lightning is an excellent example here, in addition that part got an extra iteration as the military requirements were added by yet another group (read: the military). In all this the political objective is hampering the essential need against ‘it needs to be done by date X for no more than amount Y‘, which gives us the political joke that the NHS IT project was. A present from the Labour government which boiled down to a £11.2 billion wrapper around an empty box. Two projects set through objectives that ended up being off the wall and the back and forth friction that resulted in something unmanageable and non-functional. I reckon the political side of both events needs a new level of scrutiny, one that we have not considered before. In that regard having people like Mark Carney around is essential for the wheels of a state to remain functional, because if there is one clear thing, it is that America lost that oversight some time ago, before this Democratic Administration, the previous republican one lost sight of the needs and the accountability of the intelligence network and data processing side no later than 2006, we can all agree that the 2007-2012 total budget of $435 billion was money massively spent in all the wrong ways. This was shown in a Foreign office document that was quoted in an article stating “Army officials, though, said Palantir wasn’t up to the job. Now, a 57-page report by the Pentagon’s acquisitions arm basically says the Army was wrong to dismiss the Palantir system. The study instead gives Palantir high marks on most of the Army’s 20 key requirements for the intelligence system, including the ability to analyse large amounts of information, including critical data about terrorist networks and the locations of explosive devices, and synchronize it in a way that helps troops on the ground combat their enemies more effectively“, so there too billions were spent when millions could have sufficed. When the EGO of an individual with the power to decide is on the line, the results could be disastrous. In my personal view, if we accept the wrongful spending of 25 billion, how many extra troops could have been saved by adding fire support groups to those in IRAQ in those years? How many of the 4486 fatalities could have been prevented?

Politicians, advisors and ego are a really dangerous combination in many ways, even as we look at what is coming now, we need to be mindful of the changes that some are pushing for. Even if we are in favour of dropping the EC altogether, pushing NATO boundaries might not be the best solution. France might be privy to one of the better intelligence machines, that machine is also dependent on the intelligence it is fed from allies, an essential element that will fall away when NATO does, Marine Le Pen should be very mindful of that.

Yet this year and more important 2017 will go beyond Frexit. There is still a large debate on the Netherlands making any move away from the European Community, the numbers require people to be realistic on what will happen, yet those numbers are nowhere near the numbers Brexit had, so it is still unlikely that this will happen at present, no matter how certain Frexit will be. Italy might not have any manoeuvring space, it requires a massive infuse of funds, when we see the Reuters quote “An Italian government official told Reuters on Tuesday that €20bn earmarked for the rescue of the Italian banking system should suffice“, we need to wonder in how much trouble Italy is. This question is raised as we see Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena will issue €15 billion of debt next year (source: RTE). So we see another iteration where “The Treasury may have to put up around €6.6 billion to salvage the lender, including €2 billion to compensate around 40,000 retail bond holders“, so, how exactly is it acceptable that people ‘invest’ with a risk, yet when that risk comes calling, they still get compensated? How did any of us ever sign up for that?

Anyone who mentions that it is for the good of all is of their rocker plain and simple. Here too we see connection between France and Italy, mainly that the Natixis Global Asset Management (NGAM) thought it was a good idea to list Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena as a major purchase right next to Ubisoft. I reckon a little less ‘lack of nationalism’ and putting all of that cash in addition to the other amount into Ubisoft might have been a decently better idea. I feel certain that next year when we see the ‘Top Ten Holdings’ in the Natixis report will not make mention of Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena, which could just be me though.

So in this last day we see that we have quite the collection of choices to deal with, some good and many bad ones. Yet no matter what is happening, no matter what will fall, there is a decent indication that unless changes are made 2017 will not be a good year. I might be too negative to see some level of collapse in Q2 (no later than Q3) in the next year, yet the proper setting and if the key players are willing to forego ego and focus on cooperation, they would be setting the stage for a lucrative 2018, that is beside the initial technological presentations of the new age of G5. G5 will be the pushing power in IP, especially Trade Marks, yet that path is also loaded with new growth opportunities for IT and developers as they start setting the tone of what 5G could personalise, it will be the first firm push to switch providers to SaaS. That is almost without question, the degree to it happening is very much depending on actual cooperation. In that the Telco providers need to realise as per immediate that thinking SaaS whilst selling Paas and charging IaaS, which sounds nice on bonus day. Yet the boomerang effect is that clients will walk away a lot faster and they will also automatically entice 10 personal connection to not seek the services of the telecom provider being that stupid. Infrastructure as a Service is almost a thing of the past. It seems weird, because there should be space for it, yet in our new outfits we see that infrastructure is a long term commitment and with annual mobile purchase the people have learned to be as flexible as possible, so the limited mobiles that some sell (32Gb instead of 64Gb editions) is why people are realising to walk away from those offering limitations instead of solutions. It is at times harder with Platform as a Service. You see, PaaS might sound nice when we see Apple and SAP connecting, yet the bulk of the revenue will be the smaller fish in the pond, the small players will be 80% of the revenue, one can argue the actual taxable cake of government will be largely depending on those players and for them IaaS is a laughable solution when they are trying to get as much as possible in the first few years and those smaller players want as much flexibility as possible taking to some extent PaaS from the table. SaaS will be solution of choice and those now adhering to that need will fall short in 2018 and they are unlikely to be part of anything in 2019. In that we see the government need of objectives that cater to what the SME’s need. A mere application of supply and requirement. You might think that this is not connected to the previous parts, but it is. When we see the NHS, Banks and government, their needs to address their audience, they need to consider that no matter the infrastructure or platform for communications, they all need to see that their clientele is no longer rigid, no longer bound to certain paths for the simple reason that the infrastructure of places like the NHS can no longer deal with. It is by definition a mobile customer base that needs addressing, this means, or at least implies that the SaaS solutions require a wider setup, other paths of non-repudiation and a very different approach to data, its quality, its controls and the application of the results in any report or estimation towards costings and profit. It is a path of contribution, which is set as revenue minus costing.

For the better part an entirely new path in a setting that has for too long been about a rigid collection of data, which when compared to a setting in a flexible framework no longer holds a candle and will come with the implied death of data quality. in these places there will be a growing need for a data team that has the sole purpose of managing the quality of data, this path is one that IT has never worked on to the degree it had, because in the past systems were set in concrete and after the correct data pass had been made, the data usually would not require ‘resetting’ it in another framework, a change that will be almost evident in the systems we will see start in the next 4 years. There, for some the problem becomes that they have never contemplated the changes, which now also means that once they go into the deep of it all, the time required and the resources required will be a lot more draining than ever before. It is in that path that we see the danger of politicians and technocrats in the required path of objectives and policies. As there is plenty of evidence that so far this track record is not that great, we will see a squandering of funds and a dangerous curve of unprotected data whilst no one will be actually held accountable for the transgressions against those consumers aka victims.

So on this last day there is no way that any solution will be found, just take in the information and next week wonder what on earth is about to hit you, there is some speculation in this, yet I believe that the ‘objective callers’ (read: politicians) will rely on the word ‘glitch’ a lot more than ever before, it might just become the most popular word for 2017.

 

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How misinformed are the French?

This is what today’s article in Reuters brings to mind. The article (at http://www.reuters.com/article/us-france-election-frexit-idUSKBN1420HF) gives the following information: “But unlike Britain, France has a written constitution, which states that “the Republic is part of the European Union”. So a “Frexit” would require a constitutional change which experts say is difficult, but not impossible“.

You see, we are being bombarded by the media regarding the European Union, yet what about the European Economic Community, which was later renamed into the European Community?

More important, the fact that we see this: “France has a written constitution, which states that ‘the Republic is part of the European Union’“, this might not be in question, yet when a system is intentionally made complicated, is that a valid system? (We see that happening right now in the UK), in addition, when we consider the utter lack of accountability that the EC has shown in the last two years alone, gives rise to the imbalance and the unjust path the EC has been on. There is also the part where we see that Mario Draghi and his ECB are now feeling more and more the loud voices of political opposition. Which is likely the reason why we see (at http://www.europeanceo.com/finance/ecb-opts-for-longer-but-leaner-quantitative-easing/), that the title now reads ‘ECB opts for longer but leaner quantitative easing‘, yet the fact that this might lower the quantitative easing by €20 billion a month, yet the extension until December 2017 now implies that the French and the United Kingdom end up getting a massive part of an additional €830 billion in debt, that is almost a trillion more. Bloomberg had already given its view that the expected results were never met, more important, some critical voices give rise to a failing QE program as the debt increases, yet no economy was actually kick-started, there was a lack of results. By the way, when we add the €700bn of QE reported in April 2016, the debt goes well over the additional trillion, giving multiple headaches to France, the UK and Germany. In addition, it will with certainty drive the Frexit group stronger. Even as we saw in the Reuters article “A poll published by Ifop in July found that 67 percent of French voters who expressed a view would vote to stay in the EU. Only 33 percent were against“, which is the opposite from what was seen in February 2016, we need to realise that the upcoming message that France will inherit their share of a 1.3 trillion Euro additional debt through quantitative easing, that will fuel a possible drive of those 67% Fremainers into the Frexiteers Garrison that Marine Le Pen desires at the drop of a hat (any hat). The fact that a failed plan that keeps on getting prolonged reduces Mario Draghi to a one trick pony, or a one trick Wall Street Mule as some economists rumoured regard him to be after the October 8th IMFC meeting. This might have been in regards to the statement “until the Governing Council sees a sustained adjustment in the path of inflation towards levels below, but close to, 2% over the medium term“. By the way, that paper reads like it requires the United Kingdom not to succeed its exiting path, which might just have been my interpretation of it. In addition, the quote mentioned earlier is also stated in regarding the TLTRO-II actions. So, lets realise that I am no economist, yet in the lighter side of all of it, consider that a bank owes amount x. Now we add the TLTRO-II and suddenly the banks debt becomes x+(x*0.3), so we get a 30% increase in debt, this would be a consideration when it wasn’t part of the quantitative easing already happening. In addition, we get “if a bank sufficiently improves its lending to the real economy, instead of having to pay interest, it can receive interest by ‘paying’ a negative rate. This rate can be as low as the deposit facility rate, currently at -0.4%“, so how much fraud (read: apologies I meant accidentally misreported numbers) will we face now? ‘Lending to the real economy‘ is like finding a virgin with nymphomania and 12 service of years in a brothel (read: Really?). In addition to this, the banks get extra money. So When we go to any bank stating we want to add to the economy, so we all borrow 50 million, because we add to the economy we receive $200K a year. Which we spend on food, bills and other things, so we get money and spend that on a real economy (butcher, baker and pastry maker) whilst getting money for spending it. How weird is that? Of course what they see as ‘real’ economy and my view of that are widely apart I reckon.

Yet in all this, we see another game being played, one that I speculatively ‘accused’ the ECB to play almost a year ago. The fact that they are raising the debt to such an extent that it becomes impossible to leave the EC, the UK is getting dangerously close to that point (France might have surpassed that point already, mainly because their economy has been flat for a lot longer). And in all this we see news cast after newscast on how things are slow, too hard and impossible. This almost makes me wish for the age of Alexander the great, where he dealt with the Gordian knot. In today’s version we are almost at the point where the UK only needs to cut off the heads of Jean-Claude Juncker and Mario Draghi and that problem is solved too. #SubtletyRulezOK

In addition, the document seems to set up hidden traps, traps that if adjusted will hurt many in the long run. The quote “prioritising public investment and reducing the tax burden on labour“, so this is not a reduction on taxation for the workers, it is a reduction on taxation on the cost of labour, meaning that corporation taxation will go down even more, yet the ignored definitions that governments face are the results of those reduced forms of taxation, because that money goes to the boardrooms and if the feelings of reduced enthusiasm for Apple, Google and Amazon were low earlier, wait till you see the feelings in several nations when the American policies are stronger enforced towards the US and where the golden rules for the auditors become that corporate contribution (revenue minus cost) will shift and the money trails push all that contribution towards the US. This is a reality I saw in the late 90’s with American companies. As well as a push that senior positions were to be held (for the majority) by Americans. Now, a company must do what it think it needs to do, yet with lower corporate taxation, unbalanced taxation where the bulk of revenue is not taxed and tax laws are still lacking in efficiency as well as holding corporations accountable for certain tax values, we will see a growing imbalance of cost of living and what I would call the implosion of governing budgets because the money isn’t coming in from several sides as all sides are etched to the needs and desires of corporations. And people are still debating that Brexit is a bad deal and that a one market world is a good thing. Now take the 30 largest corporations add what they paid in taxation and add what their revenues were. After which you go to the tax office and demand a similar deal. How hard will these tax employees laugh in your face?

You still think a one market deal is anything but an engine to enable the non-taxability of global corporations?

It gets to be an even stronger issue when we consider the Guardian article (at https://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/nov/29/new-cars-imported-from-eu-may-cost-10-more-if-uk-leaves-single-market), which is two weeks old. You see, why would we care? Why get a foreign car? In Australia, the makers didn’t like the deal they had, they wanted more and more tax breaks making the car industry pretty much the first one with legalised slave labour. Why would we want to support this? Why would the UK support this? Consider the UK with 68 million people, now if only 50% had a car, than that would still be a massive amount of consumer goods. If the UK stops importing cars, those in charge behind the screens will then suddenly look for a solution whether a car could be made in the UK. They currently have 4 cars made in the UK, but those are high end cars and too expensive for those usually needing one. This is how VW started its empire, in 1932 it started the people’s car project. A car for every person, Volkswagen, which pretty much translates the German brand. The Australians are not in such a good spot in that regard, but it is still a 20 million citizen market, with plenty of 4 wheel needs. Those car exploiters forgot about the consequence when a market on a national level states, we no longer need you. That is why the single market is so important to them (mostly those in the boardrooms). And as Toyota reported a drop of 40% compared to last year, the consequence of nations no longer needing their brand must be a massive nightmare for those getting a bonus based on sales results. In that regard they will feel the pinch and they will feel it a lot harder than ever before. They are however feeling good because ‘Toyota’s earnings performance is improving, mainly because the yen is now weakening‘, which sounds nice on an Abacus, but the massive debt that the Japanese people face ($9 trillion at present), how long until the Japanese stop to consider how much interest that actually is; considering that Japan only has 123 million people. At 0.1% interest, if it even could be that low, implies an interest of 9 billion a year, this sets the interest to $73K per person per year. So how is that going for the Japanese budget, especially when you consider that the average man in the land of the rising sun makes up to $20K a year? So how is that formula working and how much worse is Mario Draghi making it for Europe? You see, it is my personal speculation in this that the US and Japan are pushing parties in equilibrium, when the debts equalise there will be no way back for Europe. Europe will be at the mercy of the incompetence of America and Japan. At that point, as a member of UKIP would state it: ‘I don’t want some bloody yank telling us how to keep our debt, I don’t want any debt‘, but at that point it will be too late and we will be left without options on a global scale. Did any of us sign up for that? In addition, do the French realise that my speculation is not that far off?

This is a path that I have stated before and in earlier blogs I have clearly stated that we are in for a bumpy ride, I actually expect a new crash late 2017, early 2018 at the latest, so when we see that this article by Pension and Investments (at http://www.pionline.com/article/20161213/ONLINE/161219969/natixis-survey-investors-turning-to-active-management-amid-expected-2017-volatility) gives us the title ‘Natixis survey: Investors turning to active management amid expected 2017 volatility‘, by the way, that is a group of people where the lowest income would be close to 30-50 times my income, so these people have serious cash to play with. So the quote “As a result, asset owners plan to reset their portfolios, relying on active management and alternative assets as they seek to manage risk and boost returns” seems a little bit of an issue when we realise that Mario Draghi and his quote “as part of our expanded asset purchase programme (APP)” gives a whole new light in all this. It almost amounts to a speculated shift in ownership of assets, where governments are buying assets via the ECB (intentional or not) and in addition, these portfolios get to reset themselves and get rid of what would soon be new bad debt. Whilst the Guardian reported in November 2015 that the European banks were sitting on €1 trillion of bad debts and the quote “The increase in lending has been accompanied by a very gradual improvement of asset quality, although levels of non-performing exposures in EU banks remain a concern and a potential impediment to lending growth and profitability” now reflects on Mario Draghi as he basically has been adding more than €1 trillion more (making it a total of €2.3 trillion) by the time we get to December 2017. When the upcoming volatility shit hits the fan, all our financial futures will go straight into the sewer.

So, when the French realise that, do you really thing that there will be any non-illegals left in that country considering to remain in the European Community?

More important, when some of these factors start hitting the UK, its population could end up demanding a sledgehammer hard Brexit almost overnight. Yet, again, that is pure speculation from my side. In the meantime, I should apply for a job at Natixis, facilitate for people who will actually end up having some money left from January 2018 onwards. I have to eat too and I would love some French grub, even if I have to Join Legion Etrangere for that part (do not worry readers, I no longer meet their standards).

So as you now wonder how informed the French are, I need to wonder in equal measure if they are the only ones not getting the full picture (read: awareness), the fact the Dutch move out of the EEC is now getting a lot more realistic, even more realistic than I ever thought it would be, gives additional light to the title and topic in this blog. Yet so far there is a decent indication that Frexit will drive the decision of plenty and Frexit will come to a referendum before the Dutch get that chance, meaning that the French vote will clearly influence the Dutch one, yet to what extent cannot be said or stated. In addition, the Rhine and the Rotterdam harbours would not get the economic punch as hard because of German needs, meaning that these ties will remain strong for the need of both, but that is no guarantee that the Dutch will not feel the initial hardship of change, to what extent cannot be stated with any degree of reliability.

 

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When everyone is a winner

You have heard of these special schools? The school where everyone wins, no one has a bad grade and everyone is special. Yes, we are talking about the Eurozone, the one school where lessons are not learned, where those who posture (read: all) win a prize, or perhaps they fetch a price. What matters is that this social path does not get us anywhere.

You see, I am not some anti-social person, I understand that we can be compassionate, but I do have a problem when grown men, all making 7 figure incomes are given that level benefit of doubt. Mainly because I could do a better job for half the price. We see the first issue a few days ago when Wolfgang Schäuble makes the statement (source: the Guardian) “Greece must implement economic reforms if it is to keep its place in the Eurozone“, and when we see the degrees that this man has, we might consider that he is not a demented toddler, so when we consider the knowledge that we have obtained over the last year:

1. A nation can only voluntarily leave the Eurozone.
2. Considering the UK and the hassle it is facing just to get past article 50.
3. The fact that Grexit was not a possibility, which drove the UK towards Brexit and France towards Frexit.

Can we sincerely ask the question why this man is opening his mouth posturing some level of adulthood (or adultery for those with a sarcastic look at the EU charter), whilst all know that this is basically an empty statement?

So, if the statement “If Greece wants to stay in the euro, there is no way around it – in fact completely regardless of the debt level”, the entire Brexit could have been avoided when the children of the EEC commission had acted when they should have (read: all the way back in August 2014), so because the denied ‘status quo group‘ who tried to keep the gravy train going we all had enough and most Britons decided that going it alone is just the best solution, now that we see that this same group is realising what they are about to lose, it is only now that we see the first noises to make the hardest decisions, all because they are about to lose trillions. The fact that this comes from Germany is not a surprise and it isn’t linked to the hardship the Deutsche Bank faces. Yet, the people behind Schäuble (Wall Street and the IMF, which is my personal speculation), we now see desperate steering towards alternative solutions hoping to find an option to thwart Brexit and perhaps steer Frexit away from a referendum course. It might work, but we all need to realise that French pride has already been dented, so there is no way to accurately tell how that part will pan out.

We see a diversionary tactic in the quote “With his own popularity plummeting in the face of fury over creditor-mandated cutbacks, the prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, had hoped to wrap up a second review of policy measures in time for Monday’s meeting as part of a broader strategy to secure short-term debt relief and participation of Greek bonds in the European Central Bank’s quantitative easing programme“, yet this is all true. So why do I call it a diversion? You see, the players behind the screens are about to lose thousands of billions (read: trillions), so Greece and their 300 billion really do not add too much on the entirety of the big picture. Even as the US is heralding such huge achievements in unemployment figures, most will not realise that in February, after thanksgiving, after Christmas and after January sales, the shops will downsize by a lot. There is a lot of speculation on Black Sunday and the other shopping spree numbers, but as too many speculations are given here from too many sources, we actually will not know the actual outcome until mid-January and after that any action and all numbers will get quietly hushed to page 23 of newspapers. That is done because the Democrats really do not want anything in that regard to receive too much visibility until January 20th when all eyes will be on the start of the Blame Trump campaign.

What is a given is that the American administration is facing dire moments and their only fortune is that this impacts Wall Street, the IMF and the Rothschild’s, so their all uniting in finding any solution that keeps their Status Quo. They might not be related to the band, but the tour that these players have been preparing for will include hits like ‘Whatever I want‘, ‘Roll over stay down‘ and ‘Rocking for all that I own‘. Now, what is the link between the IMF and the Rothschild banks? Well, it is not what some conspiracy theorists states like: ‘Rothschild Bankers Looting Nations through World Bank/IMF‘ or ‘Hungary Becomes First European Country to Ban Rothschild Banks‘, what is of principle matter is the claim that ‘The International Monetary Fund is an international development banker. It makes loans to governments. It gets its funding from member governments‘. Yet, when you consider the debt these members are in, with the top 5 having a total debt that surpasses 35 trillion, can anyone explain where their money is actually coming from? The short answer is that the funds are fictive and virtual, and basically as I personally see it based on fraudulent economic settings to say the least; which now implies that only the larger (read: largest) players with the Rothschild family at the very top are included as behind the screen underwriters (for a percentage of course, they are not philanthropists), that is the reality of banking and those underwriters want to see their money. So at this point losing 300 billion is nowhere near the issue as losing an amount surpassing 5 trillion. So there is every issue in play and the German Wolfgang Schäuble is doing the ‘kick off’ whilst everyone is slightly less interested in economy and more into the Christmas parties with the office assistant in a horny accommodating outfit that in the mind would include transparent Red Santa lingerie, willing to engage in activities of a ménage-a-troy kind.

Welcome to the holiday season they will think, whilst on the other side the economy is decided for the largest players in a setting of debt by those not elected but enabled. The mere consequence of governments and the corporate contracts. The debt must flow, the debt must grow and the UK moving out of the EEC is the first step into giving the UK its true independence from these financial institutions. That part is now also under attack as the ‘British Balls’ (read: Labour Party Ed Balls, former Economic Secretary to the Treasury) is at the core of that part, as was shown (at https://www.ft.com/content/2616611e-a665-11e6-8b69-02899e8bd9d1), on November 17th in the Financial Times. You see, even as I have had a few disagreements with its Governor (aka Marky Mark of the British bank), the man has steered it correctly in the direction the United Kingdom required it to go. Yet now as this does not pleases the non-governing parties at large, well Balls, let’s make a deal, shall we? If we agree to reign back the independence of the Bank of England, you must agree and sign a decree per immediate that any politician squandering treasury money due to any level of negligence (or incompetence), will have to go to prison for 10 years without the option of parole. Would you sign that Ed? Consider the NHS IT issue of 11.2 billion, how many of your friends will be set to prison? How many negligent programming contracts were signed off on? Are you willing to make that leap, because the only ‘friends’ you end up having are those of the non-UK kind and many of them mere graduates that were on your every word in that Harvard building where you made that speech and a few more in financial institutions who didn’t much care for the independence of the Bank of England. So how about it Eddy, you got the Balls for that one? I would expect some kind of other proclamation soon enough. You see what he wants is not any accountability in a setting where all is squandered away. The British people have had more than its share of that one. So as we read: “The paper comes after vehement attacks on central banks and their policies in the US, UK and Germany; criticism that would have been unthinkable in the 1990s and pre-crisis 2000s, when the fashion for central bank independence was at its peak“, where I would see that the idiotic notion of the Bank of England should be forced to fund infrastructure projects, whilst we know where 11.2 billion didn’t get the job done and there wasn’t enough money to get it sorted due to negligence and what I would regard after 20 years in IT as ‘steps of utter stupidity’, well worth of getting those decision makers in prison for the longest of time (read: while I am aware that the maximum prison term would be 10 years), a term that others would call too light, especially those who are now due to no fault of either party are getting less from the NHS that can no longer meet the high standards it gave for the longest of times.

So when we read in that same paper “Carney says politicians ‘deflect blame’ by attacking central banks’ Rising inequality is driven by more fundamental factors, argues BoE governor“, my response would be: “Right you are Marky Mark!“, although I would speculate that some of these fundamental factors would be the ignorance of the decision makers whilst relying on people trying to get the maximum they can out of the deal offered and the connections relying on them. That would a fundamental first to consider and solve. Which gets me to the point that those politicians will be held accountable for the support to these projects and they need to be dealt with if they fail. So the special prize for these non-kids is the one that every winner wants, 120 months of hotel accommodation in places like Holiday resort Wakefield, or Wandsworth Garden retreat in South West London? Would that perhaps up the game of a few politicians, or will they suddenly decide to be less enabling to those who see the independence of the Bank of England to be more than an eye sore and a factor that stops their maximum profit to continue? I am merely asking, not making a claim of any kind.

The Financial Times article has a few other sides and makes fair statements, even though the initial source is questionable from my point of view. The writer Chris Giles adds at the end “For the Fed, the problem is reversed and while it has in its Financial Stability Oversight Council sufficient political legitimacy for macro prudential policies, the US central bank does not have sufficient tools to do the job and cannot request new tools from the administration, it adds“, you see, the British and US systems might seem the same, but they are not. I would surmise that there is a Federal and State level of these issues that the UK does not have to the extent the US has them. It is not just the differences in approach and connections, I and most of us see the Bank of England as the pulse of the health of the British economy and as such, its independence, especially from a boatload of politicians, is essential to this view. Now, I might certainly be wrong, yet overall, how many would agree that many politicians seem to spend in what they truly believe to be for the best, whilst not having a clue on how proper debt levels need to be and they will happily push that bill to the next cycle, the NHS IT is not the only, but definitely one of the clearest and largest examples of mismanaged spending on several levels, having someone independent in charge of the Bank of England making sure that the tap gets closed before it is too late in this term with a clear look at what comes next and what else is due now. A view many politicians on a global scale are lacking. And as the US system has a much more isolated view regarding the economy enablers, the economy and the US treasury gives another shine on their view and their lacking demand for independence and accountability (again, as I personally see this).

You see, there is a lot more in play, this isn’t just on what is due to Greece, the UK or the Banks wanting there coin. The fact that left and right have to some degree social values and of course, the left tends to have a little more of that. Yet, when we look at ‘Greece under fire over Christmas bonus for low-income pensioners‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/dec/09/greece-under-fire-over-christmas-bonus-for-low-income-pensioners), we need to question certain responses. The quote “A goodwill gesture to ease the plight of those hardest hit in Greece by tax increases and budget cuts has backfired spectacularly on the prime minister, Alexis Tsipras” is one that is of great concern. Consider that this is about retirees that get less than €800, so, when we consider that rent in Greece is €450 or more, with added monthly utilities of no less than €140, this means than they get to live of €310, which is abysmally little. A week of food and clothes and other things at €75 per week is the nightmare scenario for even the best miser in town. Now consider Christmas is around the corner and these Greeks and those getting even less are getting a one-time bonus for Christmas. It is a social smallest act by the Greek government and after the issues that the retirees have gone through clearly the act that should be done as soon as possible. So I would really like to know the names of these ‘International creditors pour scorn on prime minister Alexis Tsipras‘, in addition, I would like to see what their functions were and their incomes from 2004 onwards. You see, I want those people and I want to see if they were in any way enabling the imbalance that Greece developed between 2004 and 2009. Mainly because the Greeks suffering now would really like to get those names and addresses. For those following a little longer, I have had plenty of criticism towards what I used to label ‘rock band Tsipras & Varoufakis’, in addition I have had additional issues with what was done over the time period, yet I had never had issues with any solution that could be found resolving the issue, in addition, when Greek was playing hard to get, I was first in line to throw them out of the EEC and the Euro, yet the power players behind all this, and possibly the people holding onto the debt markers were equally accountable. Yet, I have never had anything negative to state over the Greek people at large (apart from the stupidity of all these strikes), so I would have no issue with Tsipras giving a little release in the one month when that makes perfect sense and likely matters the most. Yet in this social climate, we see in equal measure the debatable view by Labour people wanting central banks to be more dependent on the politicians who cause a lot of these issues to begin with. How freakin’ crazy do you need to get here?

So when we consider that special school where everyone is a winner, can we actually accept or even entertain the thought of hiring someone who is on that school of thought? How much damage must Europe endure before the people at large gets a clue? There is accountability, which I have always supported, yet in equal measure, the strain on the Greek people have been unjust been brought by those who have been facilitators of a system that should never allowed to continue to this degree, meaning that Greece should have been removed from the Euro at least 2 years ago. Doing it now, could only be done if the debt of 300 billion would be forgiven, a step that the players are unwilling to give, yet in the light of all that is passing, they are now considering certain steps, only so that they can hang onto an optional 35 trillion, that is the game in play and now, as they realise that the UK has had enough and that France is on the same side of that seesaw, now those creditors are considering the consequence of pressure so now they will divide the EEC and conquer whatever funds they can, for as much as possible. In that light the one off payment is scorned on, so how inhumane have some players become and should we even consider tailoring to their needs?

The scenario where everyone is a winner is a long time away and it is unlikely that Greece and a few others feel this way any day soon, giving even more caution to the words of a president who is on the way out. And who are Greeks creditors? What is the full list, is it not interesting how the press has the detailed specifics on the knickers (read panties) of a Kardashian and the Greek government creditors list gets trimmed to the aggregated list that serves themselves and no one else. In that I believe that Yanis Varoufakis is only scratching the surface when he states “the UK referendum was a “symptom” of a series of mismanagements from EU leaders“, in that he is right and it seems that now he is less of the rock star he presented himself to be, now we see another Yanis, one that is not just driving the nails on the head, he is quickly realising that certain players are preparing for even more issues to be added to the exit of nations from the EU. Even as some is by part to smear the cogs of Germany’s needs, the quote “To take a trip down the Danube to discuss the formation of a European army – pure irrelevance. There is no evidence unfortunately that the political class on the Continent is capable of even sitting down to address the right questions, let alone, deliver the right answers“, which is at the core of failure of any created European army. The biggest issue is not how it is formed, we will see soon enough that once Frexit is a reality, what would actually be left to actually form any decent European army with? It could be a revolutionary new Disney. As we redesign Snow White and the Seven Dwarves into Germany & the 7 minions who cannot agree on anything, will we now see new polarisation in several ways being added to the list of negative plights? In addition, if Italy remains as the larger player, the mere concept of language will be the hilarity of many. I would be willing to wager that the concept as it is failing will derive laughter from 2400 Route de Pexiora, 11452 Castelnaudary Cedex, so loud that it can be heard in both Berlin and Rome, which should make for an interesting news cycle to say the least.

I have spoken against the ideas of several people mentioned in this article, I thought that they went the wrong way about things and they got bit, which I would call ‘serves them right‘, yet I have never applauded or agreed to the level of pressure the Greek people are currently under, in addition, the German finance ministers views, as I personally see them, are not about Europe and not about what would be best for Europe or the United Kingdom. I believe some are starting cycles of facilitation and enabling that will in the end be really bad for Europe, for the United Kingdom, for France and for Europe as a whole. I will let you contemplate how wrong I could be and if that is not the case why the clear outspoken opposition against these proclaimers aren’t coming from more sides, more people and more media. Is that not weird either?

A game where everyone is a winner only knows losers, a truth that goes back to ancient Greece, they were the founding fathers of the Olympics after all!

 

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A Syrian Reality

Another day, another mention of Aleppo, Syria and events. Hilary Benn speaks of the shame we all should feel. Yet, here we have an issue. Not with his sentiment, but with the clarity of who or what is in charge. Now that the UN has another meeting, labelled as ’emergency’, it is time for people to realise that labels are no longer things to see You see, CNN states ‘descent into hell‘, I say ‘the reality of choice‘. As we now see that Assad, with Russian aid secures the news like ‘Syrian Government Forces Are Close to Full Liberation of Aleppo City’ and ‘Syrian army gaining control of Aleppo eastern quarters’ we need to realise that America is no longer the leader of the free world, that it is too bankrupt to be calling any shots other than commercial deals (read: trade agreements) to feed its own greed. The fact that Libya has now asked Russia to intervene on its behalf. As General Khalifa Haftar is meeting with Russian minister to seek help, we now all need to realise that we are chasing the consent from an empty bag names America. Only now, well over a year too late are pundits all over the media field considering a change. Those who some consider to be half baked evangelical procrastinators of social sciences are now considering that Frexit ‘might’ happen. The data was clearly there for well over 26 weeks. Just like they were trying to stay buddies with those running the gravy trains, Brexit was ignored for too long and Frexit is very nearly a given next. When you consider the quote two weeks ago in the Guardian “Kenny’s administration in Dublin to strongly back any French attempt to gain more concessions from Brussels to prevent a possible ‘Frexit’“, we can now start quoting South Park (Oh my god, they killed Kenny) whilst Ireland is considering the dangers it is manoeuvring itself in.

What about Syria?

Yes, that is the question, because for the most, no one gives a dams about Syria! This is a harsh reality. When you look at the cold reality for Syria, you will consider that the natural resources of Syria include iron ore, crude oil, phosphate rock, manganese ore, asphalt, marble, rock salt, and gypsum. Most can be gotten in many places, whilst oil value is in the basement and iron ore is in an even worse place. The large corporations do not care for any of these substances, so as such The American Congress is speaking a lot, not saying much and acting even less. The evidence is all around you. This outgoing Democratic failure has done next to nothing substantial. We see mention of weapon support. It is less than it should be and likely done to write off old equipment or get some parties a tax breaks (personal assumption), it never amounted to anything serious. The same could be stated for the United Kingdom, who with the US was involved with Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve, because the growth of ISIL is scary for both of them. In my view, if there is any hero to be laureled in this mess than it would be the doctors who despite this level of ignoring are still trying to aspire the best the medical profession has to offer, in my view, most of these doctors are worth of any recognition that equals the Victorian Cross (American equivalent: Medal of Honor).

The grim reality of life set to value is that the morality of the things that President Assad was accused of. Perhaps some people remember how a little over 5 years ago, the unrest of the 2011 Arab Spring escalated to armed conflict after President Bashar al-Assad’s government violently repressed protests calling for his removal. Soon thereafter we had the issue that the government of a sovereign nation retaliated against those who were seeking to overthrow that government. This is the issue, you see, many of these nations had to deal with massive gaps in quality and quantity of life. There was a great deal of dissatisfaction that led to opposition and uprising against these governments and as such things escalated. There have been widely distributed claims that the US government’s support of the uprisings fuelled actions, funded largely by the National Endowment for Democracy (www.ned.org). This in an age where people in non-governmental places seem to think that whatever they do the US government had its back. Yet the outgoing Democratic Party had no money left, even worse, the total national debt is expected to hit 20 trillion just when President-elect Donald Trump gets into office. He gets a building to temporary live in and a debt that will take more than 3 generations to remove. Whatever happens, their choice will be American based, American focussed and there will be no space for any military action of any kind unless it is due to a direct attack on America. In all of this Syria is not mentioned, because for the players at large, it has no value, not the living, the dead or the national resources. For the next 8 years at least there is every indication that Russia will get a near cart blanch to grow its influence and after this December 2016 there is plenty of evidence that this will come with full Syrian backing, and likely Libyan backing too.

So this now ups the ante for Israel and in addition, it will require the allies and friends of Israel to up their game by a lot, because this game implies that the next cold war comes with one player short, an empty intelligence coffer and a much wider supported Russia. I reckon that Alexander Bortnikov will be having some very comfortable lunches with Sergey Lavrov. I can only assume that black bread and borscht will not be on the menu, Pancake! (Internal FSB translation joke).

These events are very much at the core because the US security council has the US and Russia in opposition, so that part is not expected to get into action, the only benefit here is that China could side with US, not because of any Syrian humanitarian need, but if the US gets committed here, the US economic prospects go down further, which would suit China just fine. In my view, if there is anything to be salvaged, than it needs to be Jordan, not Syria. If we actually have any regard for lives, than the support for Jordan, for its infrastructure and resources is essential as it has been trying to give support to 1.4 million refugees (Syrians and officially registered refugees).

Let this sink in readers, we are bickering all over the world on how many refugees we should take and Jordan has added 25% of its entire population from refugees and Syrians. That whilst Jordan has always had a shortage of water and a few other resources. In my view, the actions of King Abdullah II of Jordan seem to me to be more worthy of a Nobel Peace prize a lot more than the one given to President Barack Obama ever was. I am not ignoring the issues at the Jordanian border, the given fact by Al Jazeera et al that there tens of thousands of refugees stuck in no man’s land. Yet Jordan already has 1.4 million, 25% of its entire population, they have done more than most nations have considered. That part, will be opposed and countered by nearly every nation, but that is the grim reality. I feel certain that Jordan was not working with open arms, yet when we see the few thousand that are in Greece (OK, a little over 10% of those in Jordan), the fact that Syrians (as reported by Ekathimerini) have been quoted that compared to life as a refugee in Greece, they would have preferred to have stayed in Syria. Tell me, when a person prefers to take their chances and live in an active war zone, how bad are you as a nation? Now, we can agree that Greece was in a really bad place before the Syrian refugees arrived, so that did not help the Greeks any, also their lack of any infrastructure to deal with these amount of refugees must also be accepted.

In all these matters discussed, big business have remained silent, inert and lacking actual action that make a difference. In addition, as Donald Trump is stated to make a policy change that it will be ‘America First’, which under their economic climate is fair enough, when the dust settles and President Bashar Hafez al-Assad sits on his ‘throne’ as victor, how many nations will move forward trying to do ‘business’ with Syria? How many will enter the quote ‘moving forward’ in their speeches and statements? You see, the reality of any nation has forever been that those with empty coffers do not govern, the US is figuring that out the hard way, because its actions and messages on a global scale are ignored by too many players for it not to be the case. In the end, these trade deals have a one sided benefit for American companies. They would still get to sue other governments, whilst the President-elect is moving towards the tactic of: “Instead, we will negotiate fair, bilateral trade deals that bring jobs and industry back onto American shores“, and here I will be honest, it is pretty much the only option that the US has and no one can fault America for that, just realise that those who would have enacted the TTIP/TPP would have learned the hard way that American corporations would have sued governments for the mere profit of it. That too would bring money to America, and their board of directors. In all this, in light of Brexit/Frexit and now these trade deals, we see a massive lack of national legal protection in these ‘deals’, this whilst these corporations have only consented to continue certain factories when the tax breaks are juicy enough. When that falls away, those claimed economic national benefits fall away too and even today, certain taxations that wold have been seen as fair as those places took away billions, now that the economic weather changes, nations at large need to consider where to move to next. It is that weather that made me evangelize stronger bonds with the Indian pharmaceutical industry. Most nations have a growing need for generic medication and places like Syria, Jordan and Greece even more. Yet the people who should have realised this seem to be pushing for any pharmaceutical deal with America, whilst the players all know that there will be no local benefit, none at all, so again we see now that the Trump thinks like a business man, which is what the social left is not getting (read: comprehending), whilst they ignored the tax reform essentials, they keep on giving money from empty coffers, that party is over and those not adjusting their view will be in the cold soon enough. This also means that certain values change. This is the grim reality for Syrians, their value is none and have been so for some time. Not on a humanitarian scale, but the nations at large have no funds there, so we see that we turn our backs on a situation we cannot change and we cannot influence, in my personal view, mainly because some lawmakers were asleep at the wheel in setting up trade deals and certain tax loop holes (read: these loopholes were purely incidental and coincidental, not in any way orchestrated). Now we have to choose between economic hardship and humanitarian ‘sound’ suicide, how is that a choice?

So here we are, seeing another iteration of ‘boo hoo hoo’ Syria, we all know it, we all agree and we cannot do anything, mainly because those who could, gave away the keys to the castle and the executive washroom. Those who are now in charge are setting the pace and none of them want a war where they get nothing out of. This is the mere reality of an economic driven political society of elected officials. No monarchy would ever abide by that. Should you see that the Libyan and Syrian deal have no influence, when you hear someone preach just that, and how America will get on top soon enough, also feel free to investigate the connections that are now happening between Egypt and Russia. A new air base on the Mediterranean close to the Libyan border, so as America moved out, Europe is getting surrounded by Russian bases, if we include the now permanent Russian Naval base in Syria. This is why Israel needs to change its game, because it is not outside of the realm of issues that Mossad now needs to refocus their attentions to foreign operations and data gathering. A field that the Russian have been decently good at. They do have one advantage, Sergey Yevgenyevich Naryshkin might be highly intelligent; he lacks experience and is relatively new to the job. If he ends up relying on the heads of Political Intelligence and Illegal Intelligence, the game changes, because those two are not the newbies we would want them to be and the Middle East desk will be the new hot potato for Intelligence Officers with a scent for promotion for at least 5 years (read: Mossad will have to deal with Intelligence ego’s from all over Europe). My weird sense of humour would try to push those two into the marching path of General-Lieutenant Igor Valentinovich Korobov, a proud man and as per 2016 the new head of the GRU, pride is something that often be used against that very same person.

Why mention these matters, what is their impact on Syrian refugees?

No matter what happens in the coming 3 weeks, when the dust settles, most nations would want these refugees to return to Syria, many Syrians want to return to Syria, but that place is in rubble and those people have nothing left. Syria will be a construction heaven for Russian entrepreneurs for decades to come, also meaning that the economic times will change and the Middle East picture we had of it will have changed more than many understand or want to take for granted. The Arab spring will soon be seen as a temporary thing that was not the success people wanted and proclaimed it to be. Some in those fields will object and counter with all kinds of manipulated data, in addition the press will give a few more articles on how the Arab spring was the only way and it was a good way, yet when we see that Russian influence is rising all over the Mediterranean, and now with Morocco raising the tourist numbers for China and Russia, it could be interpreted that a first signal is given to Sergey Lavrov that a conversation of interest is soon to be an option. In my personal view, one of two corridors of travel for ISIS ends up being in Russian hands. If not correctly countered we will see a radically shifted view of northern Africa with America no longer being any form of player there. This also reflects on Syria, because these nations will allow Russia to set up an empty trade house where they are merely the middle man in commerce between Syrians and Northern African partners, so suddenly there will be large economic growth (moving from zero that will always be the case) and it will push a shift in other ways too. It is the Grim reality we face, because the actual culprit was greed and we have seen how both America and the European Economic Community was unwilling and unable to act against it, which is why we will only see a stronger push for Frexit and Brexit. A move that scares the US, because the Euro and the Dollar are too closely tied and this dissolving action will be seen as the nightmare scenario by the IMF and Wall Street, where the question now becomes: who is speaking for whom?

 

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