Tag Archives: Financial institutions

Clueless to the end

That is quite the statement is it not? The question that follows is is the writer clueless (aka me) or the presenter of certain statements (aka Peter Dutton, current Home Affairs Minister). I will leave that to you as I am merely presenting the facts as I see them.

It all started on a simple Wednesday (2 days ago) when I was confronted with the statement ‘Coalition calls on Google and Facebook to get on side with encryption bill‘, just another political yada yada moment and I was about to ignore it and more to the next page when I noticed ‘the internet giants have a responsibility to help combat organised crime‘, which woke me up nice and widely. So the article (at https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/oct/10/coalition-calls-on-google-and-facebook-to-get-on-side-with-encryption-bill) gives us: “Australia’s law enforcement agencies have been prevented from infiltrating paedophile networks and other organised crime groups because the messages they send over encrypted electronic messaging services, such as Wickr and Whatsapp, cannot be intercepted by authorities“, in light of Australia being America’s minion in the anti-Huawei activities is admitting that mere app decryption is beyond their ability? And they have the loudly shouted notion that Huawei is a 5G risk whilst ‘basic’ skills are not in their arsenal? Apart from making a case that Huawei is now basically a political fuelled exploitation game and a setting of bias (and optionally nepotism), we are interested in learning that certain skills are beyond Australian Intelligence. I am certain that Paul Symon, Mike Burgess and Duncan Lewis would have been delighted to learn of this revelation via the Guardian, but that was merely comical relief anecdote, let’s get down to the brass of it all.

We get to see the first part in “He said a new report from the Australian Institute of Criminology, released on Wednesday, estimated the cost of serious and organised crime in Australia in 2016–17 was between $23.8bn and $47.4bn, and showed how sophisticated internet-based crimes can be“. So as we take a look at that report (attached), we take a first look at the end (just like any detective story, starting at the end we see the revelations we needed to see if the story adds up). So there we see: “This paper sought to estimate the cost of serious and organised crime in Australia for the 2016–17 financial year. It was not possible to undertake new empirical research to provide more accurate baseline data to support the estimated costs, so in most cases uprating using the RBA (2018) inflation calculator was used in conjunction with the most recent reported crime statistics to assess the prevalence of the various crime types examined“, which gives us another part. The first is on page 3 where we clearly see (in bold) ‘$31.5 BILLION for the cost of serious and organised criminal activity as well as the serious and organised component of conventional crimes‘, so now we see in opposition an amount against ‘between $23.8bn and $47.4bn‘, which I admit remains a truth, yet when we do the math, we see $15.9B for prevention and $31.5B for the so called organised and serious criminal activity, which gets us to $47.4B. At this point we could surmise that Peter Dutton passed his basic math test, was it not that the same page 3 (just like in the Sun, for the longest of times) gives us an additional $8.6 on organised Fraud (debatable), and $6.5B, $9.6B, $4.1B and others adding up to almost $2.7B, so in total we have the $31.7B, yet here is the problem, the individuals cannot clearly represent 100% of organised crime. We are now getting to the miscategorised and the miss set properties of certain players, which also deflates the issue. It becomes a larger setting when we consider the ABC, who reported in May 2017: “the Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network, and the reported losses from online scams across the nation come in at around $300 million“. So here we get the second part. We see ‘online scams‘ and I am willing to accept that, yet against ‘PURE CYBER CRIME‘ the question becomes what is what and where are the definitions and this gets us to page 18 where we see: “It extends the conventional understanding of organised crime groups by adding all serious crime of an entrepreneurial nature or committed to support a criminal enterprise, whether by a group or an individual“, now the entire setting changes. It optionally includes all the entrepreneurial naughty people in places like Wall Street does it not? Good luck getting anything done at that point!

Then we get to the illicit drug activity. Now, I am not debating the number overall. I do not have the data to do so, yet consider the part on page 10 where the three costs are included namely Medical costs, Lost Output and Expenditure on drugs. The items are fine, it is how you set your filter, I get that, yet in all this when we consider the numbers and the setting whilst we also have been treated to the longest time to those individuals in caravans in the middle of nowhere making their acid/ecstasy junk. So when we look at Methyl​enedioxy​methamphetamine (MDMA), we can see that it is a serious crime and that we are given a dangerous setting, no one denies that, yet in all this, those singular people who do something with gallons of cough syrup (as It was presented at one point) we should also see that at this point that Peter Dutton had all the elements added together and presents it like a Ponzi scheme, or should I say that it looks like an Amway sales presentation (the one I saw at least)? You know, the one where someone states ‘replicate, don’t reinvent‘ it is a good sales pitch, no one denies that, and it is here that we see the flaw and failing of Peter Dutton.

You see his presentation adds up ‘perfect’, these numbers add up, whilst a millennia of history shows us that numbers never add up, not in any criminal enterprise; to do that I have to teach you a little data basic. The best comparison is the use of a cross tabulation. Let’s take gender and shoes. For example we see 6 men and 14 women bought shoes. We also see that 24 women and 25 men did not buy shoes. So far we get the table on the left, yet now we also get the setting that a cross tabulation will not deal with.

For example the fact where we know that shoes were bought, yet the gender is unknown or we see a gender reference and that something was bought, but we cannot see if they were shoes. These are called missing values and they will not show up in that cross tabulation and there we see the first part. It gives us the setting of crimes but not by whom, they are serious in setting but that is not enough is it? You see Peter Dutton gave us ‘help combat organised crime‘, yet not all serious crime is done by organised crime and now we have a $47 billion dollar question and in addition the failing that we are now introduced to is a much larger failing. In this we now see that we saw in the beginning when we went to the end of the story. It is seen with: ‘estimated the cost of serious and organised crime‘ and that is not enough. We could argue that it should be, we can argue that (the amount involved) is way too big, but the setting is not merely that Tech companies should ‘help’, it is the prosecution setting. The setting that there is too much junk attached and the prosecution will fail in the bulk of all those cases because the evidence relies on loaded and unproven data. It is the part that we have faced for well over 7 years. The court barristers will give every jury the speech of authentication versus non-repudiation and the second one cannot be proven (in most cases), so we end up not merely not having ‘beyond all reasonable doubt‘, there will be a high and likely chance that the courts will not even be able to prove ‘on the balance of probabilities‘ or ‘is it more likely than not‘ and it is here where we see that Peter Dutton could be optionally wasting millions upon millions of costs to set the stage of presentation that will have little to no results and that is a much larger problem. The additional play is that any smudging of any presented evidence will give us the stage that a case will be thrown out of court, how is that helping anyone?

So whilst we ponder this, we need to review the statement “And it should be noted the same companies who protest about having to help police with the encryption problem, operate their business in less democratic countries and accept a compromise on privacy to allow their presence in those growth markets“. We are not those countries are we? so at this point, we get the impression that Peter Dutton is merely a minion for the intelligence services who according to him were unable to ge to places in the first place, which implies that certain players have much larger problems and the serious cirme part, which is not on their plate is already beyond them, so there!

At this point we get to the final part where we see: “It is important that tech firms understand and embrace their responsibilities to the community that has helped enrich them“, I actually do agree with that part, yet that should be set in taxation law. A flaw that I reported on yesterday (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2018/10/11/taxation-solved-the-old-way/) which I charmingly called ‘Taxation solved the old way‘ (pun intended). So when we now consider the biggest organised crime master in Common Law (Al Capone), who funny enough got scuttled not by crime fighters but by tax laws. How we get to relearn the lessons of old, do we not?

It gets us to the quote: “Currently our police and intelligence officers who have a warrant may be able to covertly recover an email or a photo or other evidence of a crime from someone’s computer, but they can’t crack encryption, which is why it is now being exploited by criminals“, so these are criminals and not organised crime. Or in a simplistic setting that every square is a rectangle, but not every rectangle is a square. It is at that point that I will teach Peter Dutton the one lesson he never learned (optionally he merely forgot the lesson).

Consider: “When sarcasm bounces it is merely irony“, a lesson that has a much wider application that the honourable youthful young Dutton might not have contemplated yet. However, we have to consider he was only reappointed his seat on August 24th, so he has time to settle in. And the lesson does not end, the second part of the lesson is not from me, it comes from Lizzie O’Shea who gives us: “they were united for the first time in their opposition to the government’s encryption bill“, when we see united tech giants, how short sighted was this encryption bill in the first place? It gets to be a larger issue when we add the setting from World Animal Day (pun intended) when we see the two parts “Telstra has won a $8.2 million contract with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) for the landing of the Coral Sea Cable System” and “Chinese technology giant Huawei was originally set to build the 2.5TB-cable linking Australia to the Pacific island nation back in July 2017. However, following concerns that Huawei’s involvement posed a security risk, the Australian government stepped in to fund the multi-million-dollar project from its foreign aid budget“, whilst clear evidence has never been presented and in that stage we see optional nepotism and ego and not fact and science based solutions. We are supposed to trust any of the reporting parties on any of this? The articles are different on different settings, yet the entire mess as it is now shows a much larger failing and a setting of doubt, not one of justified confidence and in that we see the second part of the reason why the tech giants are uniting. A certain play performed by adjusting to the notion of stupid and short sighted whilst the captains of industry have been getting their A-game in gear and others never did. It is merely another stage of the impact of iterative exploitation and profit founding, that whilst Huawei, Google, Apple and Samsung are no longer going iterative, they are now making larger leaps over the next 5 years as they want the largest slice of 5G pie possible and in an iterative setting the others can catch up and that is where we see the clash, because these hardware jumps will also prevail in software and data jumps and some players are in no way ready to play that game. That is where this so called balanced report strikes out as well. this is seen on page 21, where we see: “Because information and communications technologies are used widely throughout society and are instrumental to government, business and consumer activities, there is considerable overlap between the estimated costs of cybercrime and the costs of other crime types— particularly economic crimes, banking and financial crimes, transnational crime, online commerce and internet-facilitated crime such as consumer fraud, online dissemination of child exploitation material and intellectual property infringement“. You see in that stage we see the mention of ‘economic crimes, banking and financial crimes‘. Here we see that Financial institutions and Wall Street come into play (perhaps ‘entrepreneurial bankers’ is a much better term). This is not organised crime because Wall Street never committed any crimes did they, yet they are at the centre of a group of people in that classification are they not? And there we see not merely the adaptations of block chains, we see that organised crime will go there (as soon as they possibly can) whilst the bulk of all the players will not be ready and any encryption bill will hinder the progress of new technology as other players are not anchors of stability, they are concrete blocks of deceleration, another part not considered in any of this.

So yet, the tech companies are uniting and there is a second part in all that. When they strike a deal with Saudi Arabia and set a large part in the city of Neom; when Saudi Arabia accepts certain concessions towards the FAANG group? I personally believe that as soon as the benefit is clearly shown to the rulers of Saudi Arabia and the headway that they could make, they will adjust whatever they can according to Islamic Law, and at what point will governments realise that their only option of control will be isolation and a loss of economy? We are not that far away from that point. Even as we were told yesterday “A senior executive who works for Google’s parent company and a former US secretary of energy have dropped out of a Saudi Arabia tech and business advisory board following international outcry over the disappearance and alleged murder of a dissident Saudi journalist“, yet as Google cloud picks up more and more banks, how long until they reverse the setting? In this the Financial Times also gave us (a day earlier): “A radical blueprint to transform Saudi Arabia through socio-economic reform and ambitious development projects is persuading banks to return to Riyadh“, so at what point will we realise that Saudi Banking is growing and that all players want them as customers? It all boils to dollars and crime is merely a cost of doing business. It is that side that shows the missing data part (going back to the cross tabulation comparison). Corporations have always been about the privileges that come with a certain network and the most facilitating one is the one they will choose, that is in the heart of the flaw that I saw regarding Peter Dutton’s claims here. A bill that stops facilitation and stops optional business on much more levels, as banks need to show more and more profit. The greed driven business model will always be destructive in nature, learning that lesson 10 years ago would have made a difference, now it no longer will.

That is part of the heart of the “$40bn of foreign money is expected to flow into the stock market as a result of Saudi Arabia gaining MSCI emerging markets index status next year“, that against a flawed encryption bill, it was a bad play, played even worse on the surface of all the facts shown and I did not even bother going all the way when it comes to the initial ‘sought to estimate the cost‘, it almost reads like ‘the lady gains weight and we are trying to determine whether she is pregnant, or if she really likes pizza‘, how was that ever going to go? Perhaps asking her: ‘Have you been screwed (over) lately?‘ It could give you a truth and a lot more non-truths. That is the problem with data, whilst moulding data in one direction, you tend to open a door in another direction too, I learned to see and seek those doors, oh and that is before we consider the estimates and the application of weights to a data file, which I do not know whether it happened. this we should have consider with the statement on page 2 ‘Where data were not available for this period, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) (2018) inflation calculator was used to uprate estimated costs from earlier periods‘, the part ‘uprate estimated costs‘ would have gotten us that part, also the fact that it is not data merely a ballpark idea on what the data could be, it is not the same, is it?

 

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A Church of protection

Several newscasts on several fronts, they all mention it. The church is going after the loan sharks!

I think this is a good thing. We have all seen the advertisements; the ‘cash train’ is coming. It is so easy and up to $5000 can be done at the whim of a moment. The mention, that when you come up short you can get some money. The ad seems so appealing. It is however the most dangerous debt you will ever have!

The fact that it is so lucrative is shown in the amount of spam they now fester. To illustrate, my small blog gets almost a dozen of spam messages a day, all for quick loan options. They are dangerous! Before you know it, you are in deep, and soon thereafter, you will pay perhaps just a small interest amount, but in the end you would end up paying 200% of that what you borrowed. They claim to go for short term loans only. It seems however to me that they would attract the people who might not be able to make the short term payments, and then the fee’s will come.

This is dangerous!

So, as I saw and read the statements that Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby is trying to compete them out of business, my thoughts are “Well done!” The fact that they are also backing up the RBS with some serious cash gives me the clear picture that SOMEONE is actually doing something about this mess called ‘financial institutions’. Interesting is that politicians fumbled the ball to such a lovely large extent that we now move towards the church, giving them the power others were not ready to have. The Independent posted on July 28th the header “Church-backed bid for RBS arm could herald creation of ethical bank on high street“, that is a good thing in my mind. It is a vision ALL politicians should have had on January 1st 2009 onwards. Yet, it seems that they have constituencies to protect. The question is who were they?
The people who elected them or the businesses and financial institutions that needed him/her to cast a vote the way some wanted? Are my thoughts out of bounds? If so, then consider the choices they made and the regulations that still have not come to pass. The current situation pretty much amounts to medals going to banks for murder and Journalist for invading privacy through crimes. No one wants to be accountable and no one seems to be willing to step up to the plate. Essential changes to the law are not being made. I wrote about some of this in “The law to hunt them down“.  Prime Minister David Cameron seems to be making some small changes to Bing (and a few others) to give warnings when certain search terms are made. I shudder at the utter ineffectiveness of it all.
So now the Church of England will gain the visibility and the support from the people. As the people will regain safety through a church directed RBS, as the people feel safe by borrowing through them and pay a decent share of interest, we will quickly see that other banks will either follow or go under. That is a working strategy. I agree that the next 5 years could change the issues for the good. They will not overnight, but the start is here. Is this the start of a move to moral and decency?

If so, then the press is now on its last legs. Yes, they claim, they will discuss, they will negotiate, yet they will never give in, hence we have little left.
The banks are first! This is what the Guardian exposed yesterday in the article at: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jul/27/church-duty-payday-loan-firms.

Will it benefit the Church? Of course it will! However instead of investment firms where they get their 10%+, they will now go towards a business that might make them slightly less, overall, the people and the church will benefit by the bond it creates. Consider that we the consumers will always go back to those who treat us decent. We do not mind the shop, the bank or the individual to make money of us. We needed a service and we paid for that. It is the total unjust amount that some were making that had us all going. So when in 2015 the banks start complaining about how unfair the Church of England has moved into this field then remember today. Today you had no options, they were not willing to consider you ‘the small person’ unless you made them ‘enough’ money.

 

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You might soon be sold by the banks!

I have heard often, in many situations the ‘that is not how it works’ was stated. How it was all in my mind. No, this morning issues were not just confirmed, I reckon that things are even worse than you think they are.

You see, for the most I do not trust ‘Financial Institutions’. They came in a time when there was an abundance of all, when people, as they were turned away from banks, they were willing to take a ‘chance’. For one part, this is Capitalism at its best! (Or at least that is how it was in the beginning.) Now they have grown, more margins more abilities and as we saw them grow in many fields they gained perspectives the banks in their conservatives states did not.

So, whenever I can, I stay away from financial institution. The main reason, they do not have the muzzle to keep them in place when needed. You think this is strange? Well, read on and prepare for the rudest awakening in a long time.

In the Netherlands there is a company called Equens. Today they temporary abstained from a plan to sell on their financial information. Equens is a payment provider. It processes pass (credit cards, bank cards and so on) transactions. They do so all over Europe and they are not the smallest. With 15 BILLION transactions they own well over 10% of the market. The plan is indeed decently brilliant, but dangerous as hell. They almost pulled in the banks to take their transaction data to market. It would have been quite the revenue, but it is the most dangerous one you will ever personally experience, and the issue with ‘temporary’ means it remains a danger. The initial report on this matter drew too much criticism, even though RABO and SNS Nationalised were interested, they crawled back when certain legal issues rose. It had been raised by the Dutch consumer society and the Dutch political party Democrats 66. I feel certain that this delay is a temporary one, as the issues involving legalities might be resolved over time. This is exactly the issue with financial institutions. Banks have power, but as such they were limited in freedom of movement (as it should be). Their commercial corporate brother named ‘Financial institution’ does not have these strict limits, which gives many of us the dangers currently at play.

Even so, Equens did make the promise that the sold information could not be tracked to any individual. This is where they are (intentionally) wrong in my mind.

You see, this goes beyond their system (and that is how they ‘focussed’ their view. Let me show you how. You buy an item at your usual store. That store processes your payment. You remain anonymous. Yet, your usual store has given you a discount/loyalty pass. NOW there is a connection between the bank card and your personality. So, as Equens data is sold on and on and on, more information can be added as the shop cash register (and therefor their data) has your bank pass and your personal details in the form of a loyalty card. Two numbers that could be connected with the greatest of ease and these cash registers have been collecting numbers for years and years. Now the link of two numbers separates their claim of anonymity and total financial and personal classification.

So look at those facts, now check your wallet and look at those cards you have. Are any of them for the Cinema? A book store? A game store? A fashion store? Do you get mail to your home from any of them? You’ll likely have at least one, and with every addition, you will get classified more and quicker. Soon you are nothing more than a product number. This is the ultimate marketing move! Availability of products, per person, per location. This is not such a future event; this is about to happen to us all.

I reckon that whatever happens will happen fast, and not just in the EU. If Equens is so willing to make this leap with only +10% market share, then who are the bigger players? This is a mega million market and if the Netherlands with 19 million people are so desired, then what about the UK with 68 million? Consider the meeting Equens had and a document they presented in June 2011 (source: http://www.paymentscouncil.org.uk/files/payments_council/npp2011_-_consultation_docs/22.06.11_equens_se.pdf).

The statements like: “However, the single largest criticism of the NPP is that it lacks an overarching business vision on which to drive a coherent strategy that delivers the various elements of the Plan.

So, the National Payment Plan was even more in need of a business vision? To consider those consequences we would need to look at Q42 of that document on page 14. Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) is under scrutiny where it was stated that ”The adoption of SEPA standards and formats should be introduced as quickly as possible. Whilst this will impose a cost on Corporate UK, the benefits of these new standards will take some time to reach fruition if standards migration is done on a phased basis.” So what adoptions exactly, and as such, which ones are less documented but not prohibited? From an IT point of view ‘formats’ reads as changes to interact data on more levels more easily. Why? Costs on Corporate UK! When have they EVER been willing to accept costs without tenfold falling back into their laps? It is simple basic capitalism. I have nothing against it, yet the part where most others get sold is not in those papers, yet it is not prohibited either. Welcome to the open world of financial institutions where we are about to become their product. Even though Equens is now visible, I wonder where a big boy like Schlumberger (Axalto) is at this point, who has a sizeable share.

The NOS reported on their website (www.nos.nl) today that these moves are for now of the table. Quoted was “Aanleiding voor dit besluit is de maatschappelijke onrust die is ontstaan.” (translation: ‘reason for this decision is the social unease that rose‘). I think that they have business concerns which will not allow them to endanger their 10% market at present. Yet, if they thought of it, then so did the other players and as such the next step is only a matter of time, and I reckon that we do not have that much time left before we are part of a sold system.

From there our world of what we need will be transformed into our world as THEY see we need. A small change will become a world of difference for us all.

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