Tag Archives: Eurostat

Merely a starting point

There is an interesting article at the Guardian, which we were treated to mere 6 hours ago. The article ‘Virgin awarded almost £2bn of NHS contracts in the past five years‘ seems to be rubbing people the wrong way. We see (at https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/aug/05/virgin-awarded-almost-2bn-of-nhs-contracts-in-the-past-five-years), the setting where in “one year alone, the company’s health arm, Virgin Care, won deals potentially worth £1bn to provide services around England, making it the biggest winner among private companies bidding for NHS work over the period“. In the end, the NHS either privatises to a much larger extent, or the service stops. It is basically that simple and it is only the beginning. Even when we give the right amount of empathy to Sara Gorton, the head of health at the trade union Unison, as she states: “The company has been so keen to get a foothold in healthcare, it’s even been prepared to go to court to win contracts, moves that have cost the NHS dearly. While the NHS remains dangerously short of funds, taxpayers’ money shouldn’t be wasted on these dangerous experiments in privatisation“, is that really the case? The fact that Virgin got the contract was mainly because it could be done cheaper. I warned for certain settings as early as 2014, that certain steps cannot continue that way, changes are essential. In addition, as late as January 2017, I mentioned (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2017/01/15/the-views-we-question/), in the article ‘The views we question‘, issues like: “the document, released in December, aims to address the need to bridge the local NHS funding gap of £267 million which will exist by 2020 if services stay the same in the region” gives rise to even more worry. Not only is the NHS a quarter of a billion short in roughly 1080 days in Coventry and Warwickshire, to survive they have to move? How will that aid the people in Coventry and Warwickshire? Will they end up with any health care at all, or will the local Romani Gypsies with oils and herbals need to be relied on? You think that I am exaggerating? If so, please feel free to inform me on how those two places Coventry and Warwickshire, with 340,000 and 550,000 people end up coming up short by £267,000,000 in three years? Well if advice comes at £343,000 on private consultants, that shortage might be reached rather quickly, but that is not the story is it? The story is how funding has failed and how much more it will fail over the next three years. So, as such, is my view as I personally see it of an essential judicial public inquiry that far-fetched?“, it refers to an article in the Coventry Telegraph, so with the question on how we can save money, which was billed at £343,000 , starting with common sense might have been a first solution. In addition (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2016/02/17/behind-the-smiling-numbers/), in ‘Behind the scenes‘, we get a few truths that really hurt and that was February 2016. The Guardian then gave us: ‘Income tax must rise 3p to stop NHS ‘staggering from year to year’‘, so, how much more taxation was captured for the NHS? Remember that was 2 years ago. In addition, I had issues (to some extent) on the path that Lord Kerslake took with his papers. And all these papers and consultancies (none of them free), the proper setting for mental health care was not properly set in the dimensions of cost and forecast, now add to that the setting of taxation delays and we see that the NHS is collapsing on itself, a collapse that is increasing in speed and that is merely the last two years. So in all this, someone at Virgin woke up and called Uncle Richard and asked if he was interested in making a few billion more. The setting was always falling in this direction, and most of it was not due to the tenacity of Richard Branson, but due to the political inaction and to an even larger extent the political follies seen (NHS-IT being the main one). Consider that it took me 8 hours to figure out a technological solution that could change the entire infrastructure of data, merely because I was willing to look at the larger picture and rearrange a few settings, the solution was printed in the History of Scotland, it was THAT simple. Yet none of those IT experts had a clue, or they did but the political engine would not consider adherence to change making it a bigger folly.

Now we see: “Precise details of all the contracts are difficult to establish because neither the Department of Health and Social Care or NHS England keep a centralised record. Virgin’s when it announced plans for six branded clinics offering a range of services. However, it was only in 2010 when it bought a stake in an existing provider, Assura, that it began to show greater ambition in the market“, which shows both the data folly as well of a massive lack of transparency on the health care part (optionally parts of the NHS as well), that shortcoming is the first setting into cost cutting and it is also a direct link to where services could be bettered. The second part was seen in January 2017 with ‘Dr Sarah Wollaston, chair of the Commons health select committee, criticised the government for blaming GPs for the crisis” as well as “She said in a tweet: “Pretty dismal stuff for govt to scapegoat GPs for very serious NHS pressures. Failure to understand the complexity or own responsibility.‘, the central setting was ‘Failure to understand the complexity‘, a part that was shown to a larger extent going back to 2016, even in 2015 and 2014, there were clear signs of non-comprehension in all this and the IT folly, which the Labour government was able to grow to £11.2 billion merely added to the pressures, whilst in addition to all that is also minimised options left for the NHS. all that squandering came at a price and it seems to me that both Sara Gorton and Paul Evans seem to steer in their lanes, but are equally ignoring the setting that the opportunity for Virgin grew due to a lack of flexibility in the organisations (slightly speculative) and the political branch merely added fuel to the squandering fires. Then finally the Lord Kerslake paper, which I opposed to some extent with the equations that they had in regards to the 20 OECD countries. Here I mentioned ‘Perhaps his Lordship could give a slightly more detailed explanation for the remark “Health spending needs to rise at least in line with GDP. Arguably, we may need to go faster if we want to match European funding“. Considering that the Netherlands and Belgium are next to one another and their budgets per person are apart by a mere 49.404%‘, I believe that it is not merely the stretch of the ‘holier than thou‘ GDP, I believe that there are additional elements making the comparison for the UK not merely dangerous, I believe them partially to be unusable (well a bit more than just partially). In all these settings there has been delay on delay and in the end Virgin had to step in. The funny part is that this also opens up data and reporting centres where Virgin has a much larger trove to work with. It would end up that a new VirginAnalytics could be what Dunnhummby was for Tesco, although with a data growth close to 500% of what Tesco allowed for, there is a decent setting where Virgin creates new levels of data cohesion giving the NHS an actual first time where there is a better level of reporting transparency as well as a better quality of Dashboard presentations, which will grow Virgin even more and also allows Virgin to skim the cream of the NHS sections that will be more profitable in the mid-term range of investments, opportunities grown from political complacency as well as political indecision.

So whilst people are going emotional with slogans like: ‘Not His to Seize‘, they all forget that the NHS and its political branch did this to themselves, Uncle Richard merely picked up the pieces and made it all work. This is getting even more traction when we consider the Lancashire Post where we saw almost a month ago “Opposition politicians have demanded an urgent inquiry into the way the authority awarded a £105m child health contract to Virgin Care, only for the decision to be blocked in the High Court. County Hall is continuing to consider its options after the ruling two weeks ago, one of which could be to re-run a part of the procurement process which the judge ruled fell short of the standards required

The article (at https://www.lep.co.uk/news/inquiry-call-over-lancashire-county-council-105m-virgin-care-health-contract-1-9241205) gives rise to questions not only on the awarding of contracts, but on the entire setting on investigating the amount and not to mention the fact that the contract was awarded whilst there were two NHS trusts on it, it shows that it not merely transparency. With ““We are in a real mess and the Government needs to intervene,” said Labour leader Coun Azhar Ali“, it implies that the NHS (as well as the local government) is to some degree riddled with incompetence. I cannot come to any other conclusion. The setting we see with “Coun Fillis added: “The Conservatives in Lancashire have been stopped once again from privatising public services, in this case our children’s health services“, is on Labour, not the Conservatives. The governing party decided to push for public health privatisation, and opposing it might be valid, but that legal invoice is still due, so crying over it with ‘tide of mounting legal costs, which the people of Lancashire will have to pay for‘, especially when you consider that “in view of the ridiculous comments from LCC’s Labour group, it should be borne in mind that the decision to seek tender for the provision of health services for Lancashire’s children and young people was actually taken by cabinet in February 2017, and both Couns Ali and Fillis were members of that cabinet“, so basically it was a decision that has suddenly hijacked by a minority and they are crying for the setting of cost? Go cry me a river, please!

It is in that setting, where politicians (especially labour) was lax with spending, squandered billions upon billions and they thought the Virgin train would pass them by. Now as this is not the case, not only do we see larger changes, there is the valid concern that mere niches are saved and a much larger setting still goes into the drink. If there is one setting that might change it is by taxing every person an additional £1 per payslip to save the NHS. It seems like a little, but with currently 32.2 million people working, that could add up to £65 million per fortnight. It might not be a lot, but it is a start and with that start you can begin to create momentum for the NHS that is by the way separate from all other funding due to the NHS. The question will people accept it? I reckon that when the NHS actually starts getting healthier, they will live with the loss of £1 each person, each payslip. It might have been pennies, initially, but that was 2 years ago, now we either act or lose a lot more and this is with VirginCare in place. Without it, and with the lack of restructuring the losses will be close to monumental, the simple impact of inaction, we can argue that the Conservative government is taking the easy way out, but is there any alternative? You merely need to look at what we can call a hijack by both Couns Ali and Fillis to realise that there are two in a setting that is much larger and those loses and those legal ramifications as well as the actions that followed is more than a sign of the times, it is a sign of high cost and zero impact desperation, that whilst actual working actions to get the NHS in a better place was ignored to one side and mismanaged on the other side by Labour in the 1997–2007 frame.

At present for Virgin, VirginCare is merely a starting point that can go a much larger route within the next 4 years, in the end, without an NHS, what will people do? I wonder how many remain in denial of that setting, yet it has been a more and more realistic setting. The simple setting is that almost two trillion in debt means that annually at present £68 billion is required for interest alone. Even as Net borrowing is down to almost 28% of what is was in 2010, the setting is that there is a massive debt and it is impacting everything (and the NHS not in the smallest setting). Only be diminishing that part can the UK move forward, which is a lot better than the EU is seeing at present, their debt will make them slaves to the banks for decades. You see, linked to all this is not merely what the government has, but the fact that “The 28 member states of the European Union (EU) have a total debt burden of €12.5 trillion, which could be even bigger, according to the latest figures from the EU statistics office, Eurostat“, in light of the UK being one of the big four, it implies that the rest of the EU will have to deal with the €10.7 trillion debt. How quick do you think they will be able to deal with that? That is why Brexit mattered, in light of the NHS being cut to a bare minimum, it is more and more a setting that Europe could more likely than not end up with not having any healthcare at all, so where would you prefer to be? In light of all that, Virgin might end up with a large gain, but at least there will be some healthcare, a part that too many are ignoring. Would it have been better to keep it all in the NHS? No doubt, but if you want to eat at the Ritz, you better have a fat wallet and the governments from 1997 onwards have all been part of blunders that ended the UK at minus 2 trillion, did you think that was going to go away because the news did not make mention of it? Consider Forbes who gave us not only that French and Italian health care is really good under normal conditions, in Italy (regarding the article), “I have never heard of a child waiting for surgery on his arm.  He would have been placed on the operating room list and he would have been fixed as soon as feasible. There are plenty of more serious surgeries, like cancer cases or even cardiac care, that are put on hold for months in these types of healthcare systems“, the article (at https://www.forbes.com/sites/benjamindavies/2018/08/05/a-broken-arm-in-italy-waiting-for-surgery/#20de8a1f29b6) shows the setting in Italy, in addition, in France we have a similar setting and all over Europe there are similar pressures.

Getting back to the corporation in question, is VirginCare a force for good, or the opposite? I believe that it can be a force for good, but we need to realise that the people can only be treated when we consider that flexibility is required. The lack of resources that is already in play is one part, the political games that we see, whilst relying on the emotion of others is the second part and when the people realise that they have been had by the likes of ‘both Couns Ali and Fillis‘, and many others like them, when it comes out on the waste of resources that they enabled for, will these angry people picket at the front doors of these politicians, or is that not sexy enough?

So when we see the Virgin setting with: “We welcomed inspectors back on 4 July and they were very positive at the further progress we’d made since January in implementing our improvement plan, and gave us positive feedback about the improvements to the practice. We are awaiting the publication of an updated report in the coming months which will reflect this most recent visit“, we see that there is positive change, that there is progress. It will take time, because those expecting this change to be overnight, they are truly looney tunes. If you wanted immediate change, you should have gone after certain politicians as early as 2013, so don’t cry now, not when the choice is now limited between a crewcut and decapitation. The NHS setting is close to that extreme, and has been for some time.

 

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Conservatively valued

When I was relaxing last night, I knew that there was an issue with the UK Labour party. There has been one for the longest of times, what was not clear to me is that it went a lot further than I expected. Not only was I unaware that in all the waves of Media bias, the voters themselves had figured out a few things. Not that the voters are in need of education, because proper information tends to give voters a better view of what way not to go. No, the fact that we se (at https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/may/05/local-elections-tories-profit-from-ukip-collapse-amid-labour-losses), that the local pats of the Labour party have been decimated by losing over 300 seats, they are not out of the war yet. In that the General elections of June will still be a fight to consider. What seems to be the case is that on a local level, the people seem to have had enough of the Labour party. UKIP took a dive too and has now no election seats left. I am not sure how I feel about that, because it is a local thing and the people will vote for those who will achieve something for them, in that regard I cannot state that for one, how active UKIP has been, and in the second part that for the most, the charisma of Nigel Farage was the driving force of UKIP, without him active in the party, it would all be about the people of the local electorate and how they perceive their local elected youkiperino. The LibDems did OK, which was a little bit of a shock, but perhaps like in the previous elections as there was an interchangeability in electorate councils between UKIP and the LibDems, there is a chance a chunk of those people switched back. I would need the actual datasets to take a better look at that part. The quote in the article by Anushka Astana and Heather Steward is an interesting one, we see: “May’s claim that the EU was meddling in British affairs, which propelled her on to the front page of every national newspaper on Thursday morning as voters headed to the polls, was believed to have contributed to her party’s success against Ukip”, there is every bit an optional truth in that, the entire EC issues and the Europe against Britain has given Theresa May a much stronger view and an increased improved exposure and that is what the local voter are influenced by. I agree with that part, yet that would still not have been possible without Labour pooching their political game. In that Jeremy Corbyn is that larger loser, as I pointed out the day before yesterday in my previous blog. So as the UK moves forward towards next month elections, we will see levels of accusation of foul play by the Labour Party and possible UKIP too, the truth is that the people are realising that it is not one against the other, it is the UK against a non-trustworthy engine in Brussels and in addition the European Central Bank and Germany. Two sides that are trying not to get thrown of the European Gravy train. In that side, the additional usage of a German opening his mouth in, what I would classify as ‘stupidity’ with ‘Brexit: English is losing its importance in Europe, says Juncker’ (at https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/may/05/brexit-english-is-losing-its-importance-in-europe-says-juncker), where we read: “Slowly but surely English is losing importance in Europe,” Juncker said, to applause from his audience. “The French will have elections on Sunday and I would like them to understand what I am saying.” After these opening remarks in English, he switched to French for the rest of the speech”. It was bad form, even worse decorum and in that he is now desperately not be seen as a failure, which still has a 50/50 chance of getting getting painted as the ‘village idiot’ in the cold light of day this coming Monday.  The fact that a French election was super unpredictable in round one was pretty much a first in French modern history, the fact that t is not just party polarisation, it is the fact that the people have suffered a massive quality of life, whist in addition that level of loss has been frozen for over a decade is also an issue never addressed by those parties and the opposition is now screaming ‘everyone but Le Pen’ is doing so whilst he was part of a business that took the quality of life away from the French in the first place. It seems that the moment the voters remember their 10 years of hardship and see that one of the choices is a former investment banker, his goose is cooked and ready to get gobbled.

What we do know is that the English language has only increased in importance and it will do so for a long time to come, it does not matter whether the UK is in or out of the EC, the UK remains part of Europe, a trivial matter that Juncker overlooks, in equal measure, when people do business out of their own country in Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, Spain and Italy, it is the English language that they hold one too, both sides feel comfortable with. The European population has not felt comfortable with the German language since WW1 and the French in all honesty elide on the elitist ambassadorial need for French, which tens to be not used in those circles either. So Juncker strikes out twice and the hostility created here is also setting the UK population in what might be seen as ‘fighting mode’, which supports conservative values lot more than many bargain for. When a person is attacked on values, that person looks towards family, the homestead, the workplace and staying strong, all conservative values (here I mean original values, not just Conservative party values) and the Tories profited by the situation.

Even as Theresa May keeps a cool head not relying on this victory for the general election, there is a truth in he fighting stand to keep Britain together. In that the Labour party with all its infighting is hurting itself with every round that some Labour person comes out with some strong statement trying to look clever. They merely seem to alienate their own member base. The fact that the Welsh side of the Labour party feels safer doing it on their own is a second sign that shows how much they bungled their own chances (not the Welsh mind you). I have seen and heard cries for Miliband, yet I am not certain how he could fit in. We could argue that anything is better than Jeremy Corbyn, yet the strength of Labour was always coming from a local side and they los that, implying that without that momentum there is no Labour to consider. I am not certain that this is true, in that France can be a driving force for the Labour message in the UK, especially is Le Pen wins. I have stated before and a few times that ‘nationalism’ is not an ugly word, we al believe in our nationalism to drive national pride in sports and products. Do you think that ‘buy Australian’ is merely an empty gesture? As the French rely on the national pride to grow its economy, Labour could do that in the next local elections and regain their own strength (be it with an essential lack of infighting). Yet, this is for the next local elections and in that, unless a miracle happens, the General elections are a wash for the Labour Party. If you doubt me, then consider that this path had proven to be a winning strategy for UKIP and it is still giving momentum to the LibDems. Too bad that the Corbyn groups did not figure this out in time. Will there be a power shift in Labour? It essentially need to be because they have nothing left to rely on, Corbyn threw that away. I cannot state that Miliband is the solution, it is weird, but I do believe that if Ed takes the lessons of his father Ralph to heart, he could swing it all over the next elections. Those who rely on the hatched job the press did two years ago need to realise that his father a Polish Jew immigrated to the UK, fought the Germans (as all British did) and as a University professor created what is now known as ‘the New Left’, Marxist in origin or not, you need to be a person of particularly strong vision to pull that off and he Labour party grew from near nothing to true strength, historical sides that were ignored, even by junior himself. I am not going into he said, she said, and the mud slinging. We know that historically both sides have been fiercely Nationalistic as only the Brits can be. That side has been lost by Labour as it tried to be more European at times, which is now a decided disadvantage, because how did the UK fare under the ECB? Not that great, or at least not to the degree they could have been and the people are seeing the realisation of that more and more, to the detriment of the Labour numbers. Even as some people are urging that Mario Draghi is easing down from his spending spree, Draghi is defiant in his need to wave the trillion-euro credit card around, leaving whatever to come next to pay for the bills. It only resolves the need for Brexit and any anti-Brexit noises we hear will impact the voting numbers, UKIP started it, the people voted on it and now France is moving on it too, yet that outcome is not a given. In all this we see the IMF calling in negativity towards the UK, whilst they have been wrong already three times. In all this we also see the influence of Greece on all this, because it will. Ekathimerini reports: “Greek bonds are investors’ last chance to take a free ride courtesy of the European Central Bank. Athens could soon be eligible for the bank’s program of bond purchases, pushing up prices just as those of other Eurozone bonds start going the other way”, they did not learn the last time, now they have to get to be this stupid again? You see, bonds are lovely for those mediating in this, the expected windfall for those mediating was roughly 50 million Euro last time, and this time? Consider that the Greeks ended up with literally nothing t show for, so why repeat such a stupid mistake, this just drives the need for Brexit and Frexit faster and stronger. That is how Greece is impacting on Europe. We can argue on how desperately the Greeks need it, yet when we know the consequence that it merely keeps the lights on for merely a month and it will take the people years to pay it off, how good an idea do you think this is? And that is when we realise that the interest levels will only rise again giving additional hardship to the Greeks, in all this that so called ‘independent’ ECB seems to be setting the stage for themselves alone. How is that European, acceptable or even problem solving this ECB is? So far there has been no evidence that they are anything but a facilitation to a group that was not elected and seems to have an agenda that is locked down and detrimental to the heath of the entire Eurozone.

Now I agree that my previous statement s a little too strong and perhaps off the boil, yet the election over the next 48 hours are giving us the reality that the people are feeling the hurt, whilst unelected elements are paving the way for big business to get free rides and easy access to the options of profit which will not help the voting population any. Website Fortune.com is giving us “The gross domestic product of the 19-country euro zone bloc grew by 0.5 percent on the quarter in the first quarter, which translates to annualized growth of 1.8 percent in all of 2017, the European statistics agency Eurostat said”, my issue is that the year is not over and in the bulk of all instances in the past, expectations ‘suddenly’ get winded down in Q1 2018, In addition we know that after one quarter 0.5% does not make for 1.8%, and that reality has been shown to many of us too often, the issue is also that this is happening whilst Mario Draghi is spending €60 billion a month, so basically it is fuelling some commerce which is not any level of economic growth, in that realisation, the UK is growing decently and France could go the same way when it Frexit’s the hell out of the ECB jurisdiction. With every spiced report we read, with every ‘speculated translation’ we are given less of less faith in a system that is fuelling itself by plunging the European nations in deeper debt. Tell me, when was that EVER a solution to economic hardship? In my view nationalism seems to be one of the few working solutions left. We just need the right champion and so far (even as I was not a fan of her) Theresa May has been doing the right job, steering the right path, so as a conservative, I feel pretty good. I just hope that Labour gets its act together, because better politicians are forged through opposition, and in the coming four years we need Theresa May to be as strong as possible, because Brexit will not be a cake walk, as the European players are losing their power base and as their fear of a mediocre income grows they will be changing their games and tactics into something insidious, hoping to strong along weaker players and seeing what they can bank for themselves. The lack of transparency will increasingly allow for it. The fact that there is such a lack of transparency has been voiced by others for some time, yet the lack of actions ran updated code of conduct, whilst the ECB powers have grown (source: Handelsblatt Global), when we see such a failing after a decade, whilst the ECB is all about stopping people leaving the European Fraternity is a weird situation, the act that you cannot be thrown out (see Greece) and when a party seeks a better place (see UK) we are confronted with actual issues on the ECB and its spending spree, even hen its largest player (see Germany) is asking  Mario Draghi to ease off. All this is leaving a bitter taste in my mouth and that is even before we realise that the UK has big national fish to fry and solve (see NHS). In all this should we even wonder how France will react? How the French will act when Emmanuel Macron wins and makes a quick deal with his former investment banker friends? I reckon that there is the smallest of chances that in the hereafter Louis XVIII will ask Emmanuel Macron: ‘You too?’. In that, it is so Monty Python to quote that Emmanuel Macron was 171cm in life, whilst at the day of his death he was only 149 cm tall. I joke and offcourse it is unlikely to happen, yet the rage of the French people is such that 50% is siding with Marine Le Pen, a situation that would be unthinkable before Francois Hollande became president. So you tell me, if Le Pen does not win (not unrealistic) and suddenly the people see Frexit fall away (also not unrealistic), how unrealistic is it when some elements of the ECB get exposed and the French rage that follows, especially when the UK economy remains growing stronger and stronger, that not only will a Frexit referendum be demanded by well over 70% of the French, or what will happen at that point when Emmanuel Macron starts dragging his feet?

We will not know for two days, but after that, no matter who wins, France will be in for several large changes. You might have seen how Emmanuel Macron voiced his view on Frexit, yet like Jeremy Corbyn, talk is cheap and the agenda of an elected official tends to change after getting elected, that much has been proven for decades. The question is how far is Macron willing to take it and how will the French view the changes offered. This all impacts on the UK general elections as it will set the tone for Europe. It will have an impact that will last the rest of this current generation to clean up the mess that EC non-elected officials created.

For those who vote, do so, be true to yourself and your family, whilst being in support of your nation, that is as much as anyone can do, do so truthfully and you should be fine.

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The Trans European Crash

It is a work of power, but not from any one station. The Germans would call it a Kraftwerk, but this is not an express as envisioned by Florian Schneider or Ralf Hütter. No it is a subtle hidden crash, pushed by those who need the status quo, not the fallout before they leave with a huge golden handshake.

You see, people forget how things are interconnected. We forget too often that the machine is based on values that are virtual and on foundations that are a generation old, we all forget that!

It is now 2 days ago that we see an article (at http://www.theguardian.com/business/live/2015/apr/30/markets-await-eurozone-inflation-as-greece-takes-on-brussels-live-updates), the title ‘Eurozone edges out of deflation – as it happened‘ is not informative, it all seems like a collected pile of lose facts, are they connected?

They are to some extent, but not in the view people have. Let me enlighten you!

The Greek government was struggling on Thursday to complete payments to more than 2m pensioners after claiming that a “technical hitch” delayed an earlier disbursement“. I will not attack that. We all have our doubts, but we need to consider that technology glitches, it always does so at the moment it hurts the user the most. Yet the response ““Normally I only withdraw half the money at the end of the month but today I’m taking it all” said Sotiria Zlatini” gives us pause, the expected bank run is coming and this might not be the bank run, but Greeks all over Greece fear that the bank run will happen whilst some pension money is still in their bank accounts. This gives a view of 2 million pensioners holding on to their money for dear life. You see, a small element is that at this very moment that this is written the Greek government was due to pay 200 million. Had that payment been made?

If an ‘extension’ has been granted, you can be sure that this will upset the Conservatives with David Cameron and it will fuel UKIP with Nigel Farage. Two non-related entities, yet they are all connected through other strings. Yet, the news we hear from Reuters is “Greece’s next payment to the International Monetary Fund, totalling some 200 million euros in interest payments, is due May 6 because of the May Day holiday in Greece, an IMF spokesman said on Thursday“, so, because of one day, they get an additional 5 days. Do I now have your attention regarding the ‘Status Quo’? Still, the ‘technical glitch’ the Greek bank has could be for real, but now consider the 2,000,000 accounts that will withdraw all funds, how short will the Greeks be to make payment? Yet, another part of the Guardian already informs us of a third bailout negotiation, something we knew, but the timing is so auspicious, we will see if the Greeks made payment before the €7.2bn (£5.2bn) in funds are released. Perhaps a third party deal through an investment bank will see the 200 million released on May 5th, for perhaps a mere 243,546,576 dollars? Any takers at Goldman Sachs perhaps? I am not sure if that will happen, I am merely speculating!

You see, this goes a little further, it is not just the message of “Eurozone inflation picked up in April to 0%, from -0.1% in March. It brings to an end a four-month run of deflation“, which I got from Eurostat. You see, which of the 28 Euro players have rounded up their numbers? Likely more than one, so was the inflation 0%, or was it perhaps -0.048%? It is in the margins that we see the game being played, but playing it all from the margins is a dangerous game, because trimming the fat always leaves us with one player that takes the smallest slice of beef, now we are bleeding and one player goes ‘Oops!’.

We get the next piece from Germany. The statement “The number of people out of work in Germany dropped by 8,000 on a seasonally adjusted basis in April, to 2.792m. A bigger fall of about 15,000 had been expected“. I have two issues with this. the first being that these 8,000 mean 7.5 million a month less drainage on the German Treasury Coffers. These people now have a job, which is good for all parties, which means they will get extra groceries, perhaps treat themselves to a slice of cake to celebrate, which every person should do if they get themselves a job. It is the second part, the prediction ‘A bigger fall of about 15,000 had been expected‘, why? What data precipitated that thought?

You see, the people doing the forecasting as a whole have not been doing that great a job. They failed on multiple levels for years, mainly because of ‘unexpected’ conditions.

Now we get to Spain, where we see the quote “It shows that reforms work, it should help reduce unemployment much further and thus political fragility and it serves as a shining example to Greeks of what their country could have if its government finally returns to the path of virtue“, which is nice, but in this case, the given quote from Christian Schulz, economist at German bank Berenberg is one we also need to take caution with. I would like to claim this as a mere fact, because my ego would like to see Tsipras and Varoufakis cut down to size (am I too honest?). They played a very dangerous game on behalf of people who cannot afford to lose as they have nothing left, yet in my view Antonis Samaras had the right path. It was a painful path for all Greeks, but it was slowly getting Greece back. Now the Greeks face fears they never faced before. This is however not about Greece, this is about Spain. In my view Spain had nowhere left to go but up, or die. At 23%, one in four does not have a job, those with jobs work many long hours to keep their job, many products are still not getting sold because many people cannot afford it, so Spain is getting back on board, but ever so slowly and let’s face it, beating a 0.3% prediction, making 0.5% is not great, but it seems that exceeding predictions gets to be rewarded. The reality is that 0.5% is 2.5% below the currency inflation, so we have nothing to celebrate. When Spain loses even 2% unemployed persons, as they get a job, then we can make a cautious cheer. That moment is nowhere near at present. So why the optimism?

Now consider other elements, consumer spending is falling in France, Italy and a few other places. The economy slowed down in a massive way this quarter, even though in some places unemployment figures look better. The Netherlands now has the lowest unemployment rates compared to other numbers for a long period of time. Yet, the news came with the image of a lovely Dutch girl with impressive cleavage buying a backpack, which does not sway from the blow that the American economy is getting and that affects the Eurozone too.

So here we have the initial part, some EEC nations are now getting a little positivity (most less than 1%), which is better than zero or minus, but it still is a long way from serious movement away from dark times, they are still overhead for the largest extent.

Will you stand by the view that the economy is getting better? I say that this Trans European Crash is still moving along towards the assets of all citizens there. You see, every month I am wrong, it will not be because of the premise, but because some people were allowed to push forward the status quo. In the case of Greece that will be another €7.2bn, with additional funds for bailout three and four. Whomever considers that there will be no bailout four, so you better wizen up fast! Greece has almost 316 billion in debts, it will need another 7.2 to make payments now and then we will see the need for no less than 10 billion more and who knows how much for bailout number 4, which becomes a lot more important now that we see that the Greek government is out of cash. So as the Greeks are not defaulting, Europe gets the added pressure of 17-30 billion before the end of 2016 (likely no later than Q1 2016). So the Greek debt will go beyond 200% of GDP. So when you read these miracle messages of suddenly growing from 0.6% to 2.9% I worry, because someone is again getting creative with the numbers and not with the actual GDP. If the Greek GDP is doing so well, how come we see zero messages on how manufacturing is up by a lot, how unemployment numbers are down, as I see it this is a number ‘fixing’ game where Greece is kept on the edge of the Abyss in virtual representation, whilst in reality Greece took three steps forward over the edge! But those who need the Status Quo, those who invested and want their money, or give their losses to someone else are giving us a skewed picture.

This is what UKIP has been up in arms about. I can tell you now that the picture is a lot more complex than I give it, but I believe that I am right, I believe that several announcers are painting us something that is not there, that is even without the laughingly bizarre article in Forbes by Panos Mourdoukoutas on how ‘Greece’s Net Debt Is 18% of GDP, Not 175%‘, which sounds fine in theory (he uses net debt, not total debt), but why is all that taxation not collected? I see the article nothing more than the article of a Greek having a go at the Germans (oh, how original), yet in this light we also see Reuters stating ‘Ratings agencies say no default if Greece misses ECB, IMF payments‘ (at http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/05/01/us-greece-default-ratings-idUSKBN0NM3N420150501). This is partially true as I reported earlier, because missing a payment is only the track to the Grexit and Default, but not the immediate consequence.

Now we get to the jewel in that article, which links to all other parts “The only potential impact Allen & Overy’s Yannis Manuelides saw from any missed payments was that they could technically give the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) the option to demand immediate repayment of one of its big Greek loans. But as the EFSF is government controlled, that seems highly unlikely and it would most likely waive that option“. This is the crux, those in charge will put pressure on the EFSF to get time to settle things, which means the EFSF will not act immediately, because the governments want to make sure that there is no other option to get their money, so everything gets pushed forward. Yet not paying should have an impact on several linked numbers and it could hit Italy and France, this is the true nightmare, Greece is pushing to get both Italy and France on the edge, because that will unlock the big blocks of cash, from which Greece would ‘benefit’, in that regard we could see that Greece gets reduced to a mere slave labour nation, but that is just me stating the obvious.

This is partially the issue I feared coming. One small nation of less than 10 million gets to push the rest around because no one is muzzling the people who are not playing the game according to the rules, as many politicians are not held to account, Tsipras and Varoufakis worked under the premise, if they need not, then neither do we, which is not that ludicrous a thought, but Greece is the only one approaching 200% of GDP, giving pause to the incorrectness of their train of thought.

Station Crash

This is the point where the brilliance of ‘Kling Klang’ studios is shown, the repetitive background of the Trans Europe Express shows the status quo of the finance world, like a monotonous train engine, it is pushing the Greek situation and as we lose the ‘n’ of finance, we get that Greece becomes the debtors fiancé, a shattered relationship (perhaps battered might be the better word) that has no good ending in sight. In all this, I look again towards the Album of Kraftwerk and the brilliance how it relates here. Europe endless gives me the lyrics ‘Life is timeless’, or in this case the European’s time is lifeless. So as we watch the economists admiring themselves in the Hall of Mirrors, we see a shift, one that is NOT BECAUSE of Greece (lets remain fair here) but as they were allowed to continue, we see a shift of people now less and less willing to see Europe continue. When we see stories on how some families in UK sometimes have less than one meal a day, where Spain is in so much hardship the people are bleeding, but now Spain moves forward, in all this Greece sees itself above the law of normalcy and this will soon come to blows. Germany need only to step back and not interfere. So as Varoufakis states that Grexit advocates are ‘anti-European’, we see additional resentment towards Greece, not from the powers, l but from the voting population at large. In that form at present, National Front is still making headway in France, which spells really bad for the Eurozone. Spain becomes a second player, if it goes on like this, slowly making headway, additional fuel against Tsipras is won, yet if it goes the other way, several players will need to pull out if they wish to avoid getting hit by the debts of both Greece and Spain. You see, when one goes, the banks will want to offload the debts as fast as possible, preferably in the last hour before defaulting, leaving who owns it a mess no one will survive, which means they will try to get governments to sign long term agreements for the debts. Will it work? That is uncertain, the fact that most players desire status quo, means that it is not impossible, in the end the debt goes to millions of taxpayers, that might survive, the banks ending up with this bill will topple and go under. This is where we are!

Greece (possibly with Spain) will push France and Italy, they will push whatever is left!

Now we get to the banks and the Greek bank run, this was nicely stated in the Reuters article I mentioned earlier. Here we see “They would be more likely to default on their T-bills (than the ECB) the only problem is that they are then defaulting mostly on their own banks… and in any case a distressed exchange on T-bills would definitely be classed as a default“, this is the fear I had, yet I did not think it would go that fast, because this act leaves the Greek population without any money and this means that the Greek solution could only work outside of the Euro, super inflating a Drachma, paying people pieces of paper that had no real value, a new kind of monopoly where everyone gets cash and no cause for it is needed. Here we see the faltering logic in it, partially the logic on my side too. It can only work if Grexit is forced, which some places do not want (they want their investment) and the inflated Drachma means that retirement funds have no value whatsoever, not even the printed money that is handed for it. A virtual mess of real money and no assets. It is a currency that goes nowhere, a funding from nothing that cannot be, because any product that needs importation will not be affordable. Basically that new Drachma would be even less stable then the old shekel, a worrying thought.

Now we get the UKIP charter in a new light. UKIP will close the borders and will proclaim the European Union to be null and void in the light of the Union Jack, the only Union that England will recognise. After that Germany, Sweden, The Netherlands, Belgium et al will have no alternative left to them, just because Greece would not play ball. The UKIP view is the worrying one, because the electorates that were once an ‘outside chance to win‘ could grow beyond contender, Greece got them there, by playing the rock star game, the British people are now angry, because many of them are getting by on too little whilst team Tsipras/Varoufakis kept playing the ‘we do not care game’ loudly and squandering, it opposes the UK standard of normalcy. They will often spend money, but fess up to it and pay it back, Greece leaves the impression that paying back is not a given, which has been illuminated more than once by Yanis Varoufakis.

Yet, Europe is more than Greece and Greece is less than 5% of that entire mess, which is not voiced that often. Because at GDP, the debt of Greece seems phenomenal, but the debt Italy holds is massive, it is only because Italy does have its products to bring abroad, it has additional tourism and it has almost 60 million people is why Italy does not seem to be in as much danger. But at 130% of GDP, Italy is in trouble, the debt of Greece, if defaulted could push Italy pretty much over the Abyss too. This is the danger Europe faces as Italian Liga Nord could do worse damage to Europe, especially as it does not like the place Greece is pushing them. The Italian debt at 2.6Trillion Euro’s is nothing to be sneered at. Their debt is growing at almost 4000 Euro a second. To deal with the interest, every Italian would have to pay an additional 2,000 Euro a year. This was the danger all along, where Greece is, Italy soon will be and after that France will follow, that is the Trans Europe Crash we will face. This is why Nigel Farage wants to bail out before that bill comes, which is fair enough. If the European governments had changed their irresponsible views 5 years ago, there would be an improved path and Greece would have more time and no one would worry, but that is not the case. The train is approaching station eleven and time is no longer a luxury.

The moment we dread is coming, yet in all honesty, how hard it will hit is not known. We only know that all in Europe will suffer, those who will survive decently are those without debt, the rest will suffer for many years to come. So are you still happy you let things slide or are you ready to pass the Accountability Act? In that act, those who created the mess do not get to push it forward, they either resolve it or become liable. It is in my humble opinion the only way to get governmental budgets properly addressed.

But that might just be my view on this.

 

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