Tag Archives: France

The political blame

I love the Guardian for the most. They have a good grasp of things and we might not see eye to eye on certain matters at times, their opinion is still valued as it enables me to critically reassess my own view. It is the opposing part that got to me this morning as I read an article a mere 4 hours old. The title alone woke me up. With ‘Despite Hammond’s threat, the Tories cannot be trusted to end austerity‘ Richard Partington makes a dangerous statement. Does he imply that the Conservatives love austerity too much (not entirely false), is he making the statement that Labor (the Jeremy Corbyn facade) is likely to end it immediately placing the UK in even more danger? There are several ways to see this. The article with “Chancellor hints that a no-deal Brexit will mean an unwanted extension to austerity“, which is absolutely true in a few ways, still that extension of 2-3 years will be better than the ECB push to set the stage for 15 years of additional austerity. And when we are treated to “The chancellor is likely to argue that money has been set aside for a no-deal Brexit, but should it be avoided, he can use these funds to end austerity. The thinly veiled threat – coming on the day of the crucial vote on whether to leave without a deal“. From my point of view, whatever is in reserve is essential to reduce debt as soon as possible. You see £2.1 trillion in debt is a killer. The interest alone will be well over £210 billion each year. So every month £17.5 billion is required to be set aside (all speculated on interest being a mere 1%), lowering that requirement as soon as possible is the only way to survive whatever comes next. Germany did massively push austerity around 2010 and the debt (as well as the interest) went down. We acknowledge that Germany was in a much better place (export wise), yet the truth in undeniable, the debt is killing the people of England and it needs to stop. Irresponsible acts by Labour in the past got us into this mess and Labor is just too stupid to see the danger that they are exposing their citizens to, it must stop and that was for me the largest reason to embrace Brexit, even now when we see: “For the most part the Conservatives have recycled savings from austerity into tax breaks for the better off” we should get angry, not because of the falsehood, but because of the presentation. You see, any austerity will affect the better off a lot less than the others, there is no denying it. If only Labor had not gone overboard spending the way they did (apart from the £11.2 billion NHS IT fiasco), they had no clue what they were doing and gave us this death through poverty sentence. The banks are all on the side of Labor as they are making bankers rich whilst these bankers do not have to do anything at all, the long term commitment to £17.5 a month does that for them.

Then we get even more fuel with: “Analysis from the New Economics Foundation this week shows that raising the tax-free personal allowance to £12,500 and higher-rate income tax threshold to £50,000 will cost as much as £30bn. The financial benefit of the increases have benefited higher-income households most and further stoked inequality“. In the first, no one, not even the rich oppose the £12,500 part, the part that predicts the cost to be £30 billion is misrepresented as that also includes the losses by those who went from £11,850 to £12,500, and this is the largest part. These so called ‘rich’, an interestingly small number basically gaining a mere £3,650 to be taxed lower earning them £700 over a year, whilst the even wealthier group did not gain the additional benefits as their tax bracket remained the same. As for the numbers in 2017 only an estimated 364,000 (out of 68 million) made over £150,000 a year. An additional 4.2 million got to the £50,000 range. those people are not gaining £30 billion, the benefit is mostly there for the lowest range being the largest group by far and Richard should be ashamed of himself trying to push buttons in that way.

Inequality has been there for a while and it is not due to the tax regulations as such, it is due to Labor (and Conservatives) being cowards and not adjusting the tax machine to make large corporations making pay their due. When we see Google, Amazon and others paying a mere 1%, we need to hang those policy makers in Piccadilly square. That is the real culprit, but it is likely too uncomfortable for Richard Partington to point that out, he likely has well paid friends in large corporations. We can agree that “The deficit is still expected to remain as high as £19.8bn in 2022-23 according to the Office for Budget Responsibility, the government’s own tax and spending watchdog“, and guess what, properly taxing large corporations would have taken care of that and optionally reduced austerity as well, yet policy makers are unwilling to try that as they fear large corporations walk out. So what? Let them go and forsake a 68 million consumer base, they will learn soon enough when that move goes tits up for them.

It is not all him though, Richard is allowed his view (even the ones I very much disagree with), and the issue goes beyond certain people. Consider just a year ago when we were ‘informed’ on Apple at Battersea Power Station, a luxurious setting of hundreds of millions, of course they do not have to pay for it, as the tax payers gets to pay for all the taxation that they do not have to pay at that point. It gets even worse when we see the quotes in the Apple Insider. It is developer Simon Murphy that literally gives those readers with the prospect of them moving to plan B: “We’ll give [Apple] that building at the end of 2021. That’s what everyone is very confident about at this stage“, so not only did they short social housing by 40%, they also give away a place to large corporations? No one is asking questions on every level of government at this point (at https://appleinsider.com/articles/18/09/22/construction-delays-leave-apples-iconic-london-battersea-offices-in-doubt)? It seems that the way we do business has to change quite a lot and it is time to slash freebees to zero for the largest corporations. It is not only the Guardian though; we see a changed stage when we go to the Financial Times. They start (at https://www.ft.com/content/b2225c56-419c-11e9-b896-fe36ec32aece) with: “With economic risks again mounting, the EU needs new instruments” and that is merely the beginning. In addition to all the massive blunders they had by fictively keeping an economy running, by pumping 3 trillion into it, we now see: “reviving part of its stimulus programme after two years of weaning the eurozone off easy money — took markets by surprise. It should not have done. Signs of eurozone weakening, especially in Germany, and in key partners such as China, had been evident for months. Once the US Federal Reserve signalled a pause before lifting rates again, the ECB became likely to follow suit. In his final months in the role, ECB president Mario Draghi is clearly trying to get ahead of events“, form my personal point of view, Mario Draghi (and the ECB) are merely trying to keep the gravy train rolling and pushing the EU citizens into deeper debt with no option to get out, Brexit is the only way to cut that anchor. The ECB has become that irresponsible. It becomes an even larger problem with “By promising a new round of cheap long-term loans to banks willing to expand lending, moreover, the ECB will enable Spanish, Italian and other banks to roll over funding they have already received, some of which is set to mature“, so not only is it failing, the stage that the new debts are there to cover old debts is even more ludicrous and it should be to every person who read that. That is the push we see and we need to get out of it, these debts do not make governments better, they do not set the stage for an actual economy, it merely deposes nations to be ruled by banks, when any population is set to the stage where they are contributing to any economy by being a consumer against those who are not and regarded as a burden, at that point do we see that people are truly no longer equal, we are merely facilitating to the need of the balance of corporations and bankers are placed above the law and above any consideration. So at what point did we see elections that place banks and bankers above the law? And this is merely the beginning; we see part of this shift when we consider the words at CNBC by Invesco’s Kristina Hooper at a deeper level. She starts with: “I don’t think the slowdown is going to be that bad as we sit here today, and certainly that’s not what we got from the ECB [European Central Bank] in terms of their downgrade of growth forecasts“, yet when we see: “Now that we have the European Central Bank piling on, that raises questions about what’s going on. What are central banks worried about that is causing them to make rather dramatic pivots?“, that was actually simple, the ECB is dead scared of the ‘R’ word, it is ‘recession’ that scares them. Recession is on the horizon and basically the large four are all hit by it, or are optionally hitting it next quarter (France, Germany, Italy and UK), and for the ECB that is a problem, it would truly show that their policy was a failure, no matter how you dashboard the results into a precisely sliced and diced result that shows only positivity, the cost of living and the quality of life are impacting all and austerity is not a merely a dirty word, it is at this point a cause of suicidal depression for the many confronted with it. If only large corporations had been truly decently taxed, we could have avoided so much pain. We see even more in the end when we are treated to: ““China is employing a lot of stimulus both monetary and fiscal,” said Hooper. “We could actually see signs of some improvement in economic data in China.”” She is only partially right. China is not impaired with 26 anchors all trying to keep the EU boat on their needy little turf; in addition China has taken the lead in IP and Patents making a huge difference, in this America and the EU have fallen far behind. I have seen them ignore billions in IP merely because iteration is the prospect of long term management for large corporations nowadays in an age when these people are left without ideas, we see them surpassed by players like Huawei and Google leaping ahead and now we see the terms like ‘protectionism’ and how bad it is. On the other hand there is a solution against it, the Americans merely had to accuse Huawei as a national security danger and as long as they do not have to prove it can they get away with it, the moment they fail that they lose a lot more than merely an industry (in all fairness they do not really have any credibility left, so there is that too). There too we see issues; as John Bolton (the Trump geriatric solution to national security) gives us through the Sydney Morning Herald: “Bolton also offered blunt assessments on China’s island and military base building in the South China Sea and raised concerns “Manchurian” chips in Huawei technology could be activated for espionage” in this ‘could‘ is the operative word, there is no evidence, and as far as I can tell there never was. This too links to economies and economic welfare, Huawei leaped forward whilst the bulk of all economies were based on iterative progress. Why do you think that places like Google and Huawei truly leapt forward? Their rise is all about actual innovation, not iterative marketing. This makes for all the difference. And linked to all this is something truly away from the UK. With ‘STC, Huawei complete first indoor 5G trial in the Middle East‘, when we are treated to “Saudi Telecom Company (STC) and Chinese vendor Huawei confirmed they have completed what they claim to be the first trial of indoor 5G in the Middle East region. During the trial in Dammam, STC used 100 megahertz in the 3.5 GHz band on the 5G network, and achieved a peak user downlink throughput of 1.3 Gbps” with the additional “STC said it currently provides 5G coverage in more than 450 locations across Saudi Arabia” and this relates directly to the EU and the UK. To have an economy growing you need to be ahead of the curve and both are no longer doing that in several fields. Even as I personally understand and accept the statements by Alex Younger (fearless leader of MI-6); we accept his position and he is not wrong, but it is inconvenient for the economy. The others are merely supporting fear mongering absent of evidence and it is about to cost them. You see, 5G is the economy maker and even as I have well over 2 billion in IP value ready to stage to those with the proper offer, I am but one person and I am not alone. 5G will drive IP and it will push new borders in IP, specifically in trademarks, a shift we have not seen ever. In all this, we see the stage where not only will we see the technology shift where Saudi Arabia is surpassing the US technologically, they now have the stage where they can push and own a 500% growth all over the Middle East, America lost out by being stupid and complacent in an industry where free runners set the stage, not those that rely on status quo. The UK (and the EU) will either catch up, or be regarded as lost for consideration.
At some point people there will push for political blame, I do not think that this is a great idea, but that is what will happen soon enough and at that point, all those who gave rise to John Bolton and the US administration will face a massive setback, to be removed from consideration in a world where they once had mighty voices, the funny part is that every success that we now see by Huawei and Saudi Arabia will be another nail in their coffin. A coffin soon to be named ‘rented by [irrelevant person]‘. What a legacy to have in an age where political delays were the foundation of austerity through improper taxation of corporation. There is more than one setback on the location called Lake Iteration; I saw that coming a mile away. Too bad that those relying on status quo never realised that blinkers of that nature is only to stop wearer of seeing the bigger play-field through the adaptation of fictively removing fear, fear keeps us on our toes, it makes us consider what others do and why they do it; with blinkers we only see what those in charge of us want us to see and that is a large limitation, it makes us focus on what is in front of us and we seem to forget that we are not alone, by not seeing that others pass us by and we only see that whilst we watch their asses rush forward at that point will we consider picking up the pace, picking it up way too late. That too is part of any economy, it is the essential part of being ahead of the game and the ECB is seemingly all about a horse named ‘banker’ to get that advantage and it is costing us. You see, it is not about Huawei having this advantage, it is about the realisation that British Telecom is no longer in the place where Huawei now is. All whilst there is plenty of documentation that the US has been accusing Huawei since before 2012 and up to now, no evidence has ever been produced. So whilst we can go back to the quote from October 2012 with: “American companies and its government should avoid doing business with China’s two leading technology firms, Huawei and ZTE, because they pose a national security threat to the US, the House of Representatives’ intelligence committee will warn in a report to be published on Monday“, consider the options, is US Intelligence this bloody inefficient and incompetent, or was this about something else? The leaping headway approach by Huawei was visible 7 years ago and in that time nothing changed. That non change is important for the people to realise; it is the UK economy that is getting hit time and time again. If you wonder why austerity takes this long (and longer still) consider the steps that industries had not taken, investments not done and we see non-stop tax relief for those sitting still (read: sitting on their hands). the issues are directly connected and when we realise that Germany has decided not to ban Huawei (a nations decently paranoid on security), when we watch the German economy pick up sooner we all know where to point the finger, we point it at the inactive and the exploitative, when we link names to those connected there, that is when we see a first sign of carefully phrased denials and weighted mention of ‘miscommunication between parties’. At that point, will you be forgiving and accept the ‘moving forward’ excuse, or will you hold them and their tax policies to account to a much larger degree?

Stop blaming the rich, they already got there! You need to go after those facilitators, those looking for free scraps and scraps through inaction; those are the ones you want to make suffer for your delayed and optionally permanently deleted so called ‘quality of life’.

 

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Electing Stupid People?

It was the first thought that I had when I got confronted with ‘ECB Injects More Stimulus as Draghi Reveals Slashed Forecasts‘, trillion upon trillion added in debt and none of it worked, the Europeans merely added 3 trillion in debt and they have nothing to show for it. The ECB has become a clear and present danger to the quality of life of Europeans. At present every European should consider that they have an added €5,859 of debt that they have to pay, so in a family of 4 that amounts to €23,437 with the optional €156 of interest every month. A setting where we see that close to 53% cannot make that payment, so that is merely the interest with no chance of ever paying the actual debt. A debt that was a bad idea and has been a bad idea for over 4 years and still the ECB does whatever makes themselves and their friends rich. No accountability for their actions, no transparency and no way to undo the damage they push unto others. Still people ask me why I am a Brexit person. The acts of the ECB are a clear indication that the EU has failed its people to the largest extent.

So as Bloomberg gives us “But bank stocks dropped as the new loans will have less favorable terms than the ECB’s previous operation. There may also be concern about the ECB’s gloomy prognosis for the economy and the limited ammunition it has left if things worsen“, I merely see that what I mentioned in my blog for over 2 years is becoming a reality. the article (at https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-03-07/draghi-slashes-ecb-outlook-as-officials-inject-more-stimulus) also gives us “The ECB is reverting to more monetary support just three months after policy makers decided to end their bond-buying program and hoped to start weaning the euro-area economy off its crisis-era stimulus. The export-dependent European economy buckled under the weight of trade tensions, a slowdown in China and the uncertainties around Brexit.” This is making matters worse. You see the stage of ‘the uncertainties around Brexit‘ is one that the ECB gunned for trying desperately to keep the UK in and the actions of the ECB are pushing the UK away. Yes I agree that matters will become worse, yet only for the short term, the UK will over time rise faster and faster whilst the economies of France and Germany will become more and more stagnant towards facilitating to the other 23 players, as they are merely there to get an unrealistic economy and the loans that go with it. When I speculate, I come to the conclusion that Austria will get an expected debt that equals their GDP of 83% by 2021, Belgium is racing towards 108%, optionally by November 2020, Italy is likely to be at 135% by then, Spain is actually doing well, but it will not continue, if they are really lucky they will remain steady at 97%, France will climb to 99.2% and those nations are adding trillions more debt, because the ECB is not kept in check. that is the Europe that Europe is steering to and no one is asking the serious questions on how retirements will falter before 2028, the cost of living no longer realistic and there is no way to keep any economy in check because tee was never any real stage to keep it in check, with merely the impossibility to cast members out. Greece has a chain around its neck that will soon surpass the current debt level of 179% of GDP. So whilst ABC News over sells it with “Provisional data released Thursday show the economy grew 1.9 percent in 2018, down from a 2.1 percent estimate by the government, but closer to the European Commission forecast of 2 percent“, all whilst Greek Industrial news gives us: ‘Greek Economy Loses Steam in Q4, Recovery on Course‘, which might be really true as summer is coming for Greece so from that we accept that the Greek economy numbers will fluctuate positively. And those travelling to Greece tend to see a Greek alternative location, not an alternative country which is great for Greece but the overall numbers are merely positive, not overly positive. The weather has been part of that. There has been a tendency for people in Europe to select less foreign destinations for their vacations, especially the Netherlands and Belgium. This part is not the most important art, yet it still matters. If one nation is off by 0.1% we see an impact, however it is Germany where the economic slowdown is the most visible, and from the past people in Germany get cautious really fast, the 2013 smash down taught them that the hard way. It would impact Spanish tourism by a fair bit. For France we see a similar impact but less in tourism, for them the game changes in other ways and it impacts the EU as well. French RFI reported that the OECD gave “Italy is likely to go into recession. France comes out well, relatively speaking, with 1.3 percent, exactly half the likely growth rate for the US economy“. I personally have some serious doubts on those numbers. If France ends up with 1.1% they would be lucky, as we already have a debate on 0.2%, nation after nations have ‘recovery’ idea’s and not one is staged in any rock solid situation, it is all fluid and most of them hide behind ‘Brexit uncertainty‘ whilst they are all desperate to see Brexit fail before it becomes a reality, their economies will all take a massive hit, even the UK however, the UK once out will be able to push forward momentum just for the UK not for the dozen members hanging on the coattails of the UK. That was the truth that the ECB and the EU commissions are so desperate to hide. The UK residents get fear mongering story, one after another. How there will be no toilet rolls, how things collapse and how values are soon gone. Yet the direct impact is ignored. Once out the UK can determine for the UK again, not have an usurper player setting policy.

For clarity: a usurper is a person who takes a position of power or importance illegally or by force. It does not seem to apply to the ECB, yet how are they setting policy that is pushing the Europeans into debt by trillions, even after the second stage where it did not impact the economy in a positive way? The moment it was switched off, the EU economy is showing to buckle, so how is such a stimulus ever going to be a solution?

When we see “offering banks cheap loans to try to help revive the economy“, well from my point of view, a plan to revive that has been going on for four years is not a plan to revive, it is a vegetation form of life that is being kept alive artificially, as it would have been dead for some time under any other condition. It is merely facilitating for large invoices on a cadaver that no longer has the ability to self-determine its life. And in this case the ECB is really ready to facilitate large invoices, the question becomes who gets that cash, the people of the EU merely get to pay the bill and there are questions that are not getting answered by anyone, giving us a much larger problem. Are people this stupid allowed to be elected into such powerful positions?

You tell me, because from my point of view it does not make sense, and it never did, not past 2015 anyway. It is one part that is wrong; we see even more when we give regards to the issues shown by the Guardian (at https://www.theguardian.com/business/2019/mar/07/ecb-to-keep-interest-rates-low-recession-fears-eurozone-banks). With: “The central bank for the 19 euro nations said it would launch a series of targeted, long-term refinancing operations (TLTROs) in September. These are to run until March 2021 to help banks roll over €720bn (£617bn) of ECB loans and to ward off a credit squeeze that could deepen the economic slowdown” we see a situation that could optionally be interpreted as: “we predict that we cannot pay the outstanding loan of €720 billion, so we are creating a new loan to pay the old loan. We will not mention that as our economic position is not as good, so the fact that this will come at a higher interest is something we will have to accept“, a danger I saw coming a mile away well before 2017. Greece was the most visible one, but not the only one, Italy is in a similar position with its 131% of GDP debt and it will go from bad to worse. With a current predicted debt of €2,526,450,000,000 its interest responsibility is beyond horrendous and that too is swept under the carpet. When we see these acts of stupidity and irresponsibility the Europeans do not have a clear prospect, they basically have seemingly no prospect at all. At present every EU nation will denounce my view, yet what will they say in 2024 when I am proven correct? What happens to the people born between 1956 and 1960 when they look at their pensions and see that they really cannot afford being alive having to pay their bills on what is left? What excuses will their governments and the ECB give them when these people get to hear: ‘OOPS!‘ The chaos that comes with it will be one we get to remember for generations. It will be the moment where all over Europe the life of a Ministry of Pensions official will have a speculated shorter lifespan than that of a crack addict overdosing.

It is all merely part of a larger issue, even as Reuters gives us less than 24 hours ago ‘German industrial orders post strongest drop in seven months‘, we forget that this also impacts shipping numbers, the Dutch harbour revenues, in addition the “Contracts for goods ‘Made in Germany’ were down by 2.6 percent on the month, Economy Ministry data showed on Friday, marking their steepest fall since June 2018 and confounding forecasts for a 0.5 percent increase” gives rise to questions. We accept that we cannot predict increases and decreases to some degree, yet the stage of +0.5% against a 2.6% drop is quite another matter. I also had an issue with: “The Federal Statistics Office put the revision down to large orders for December being reported late“. I am not stating that they were misreporting to us, yet the question on the validity and quality of their forecasting pipeline shows to be more than a mere glitch, it shows that elements are either ignored or not properly doused in awareness. I am not sure which of the two is more dangerous, as the faltering positivity could also give rise to an increased risk of negated negativity through managed unawareness. I do not believe that either form exists by itself. I have accused some of orchestrated reporting through delayed bad news. I personally believe that this is a much larger problem in the EU, and it needs to be addressed really soon and to a much larger degree than it ever was. For that we need to make one final jump. It was last year September when Forbes gave us (at https://www.forbes.com/sites/michaelfoster/2018/09/29/bernankes-2020-prediction-is-dead-wrong/#3132f00c4df5) “Something strange is happening in the investment-bank and hedge-fund world: a growing sense that the next recession (which, by the way, Wall Street has long been wrongly predicting for years) finally has a due date: 2020“. By itself it is not really an issue in any way shape or form. We have all seen these predictions, all based on actual numbers before. I made a similar prediction before Forbes got there (yay me), yet when we see: “the likelihood of a 2020 recession has risen due to, among other things, a tight labour market and higher borrowing costs“, as well as “former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is getting in on the act, saying a boom “is going to hit the economy in a big way this year and next year. Then in 2020, Wile E. Coyote is going to go off the cliff“, we see a lot of it coming to fruition at present and still the ECB pushes forward? We understand that this should be about actual data and not predictions, yet the numbers have been towards the negative for some time now and pushing for more stimuli whilst there is enough data to see it as folly to become reality is another matter entirely. There is a play handed out to players, whilst whomever owns the bank is seeing exactly which player has which card and the players are kept in the dark that the banks have camera’s looking over the shoulder of every player, which indicates that the banks can decide at any moment to sell short the play made by any player. It is great to be told that you can bluff, whilst the bank gets to see the cards all the players have. So the bank decides to set a stimulus play whilst they know that all players have losing hands, how does that go over with the players in the room?

And we allow these banks to be elected to set the stage as such in the first place?

 

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Evolving an infrastructure

The news is all over the place when it comes to Saudi Arabia. Reuters (at https://www.reuters.com/article/us-saudi-defense-naval/saudi-arabia-signs-warship-construction-deal-with-frances-naval-group-idUSKCN1Q60B0), with the headline ‘Saudi Arabia signs warship construction deal with France’s Naval Group‘, then there is Arab News giving us (at http://www.arabnews.com/node/1453471/saudi-arabia) ‘Saudi crown prince oversees $20bn of deals with Pakistan‘, all opportunities lost to the US and Europe (well most of Europe). A lot of it is ‘part of its efforts to develop domestic manufacturing capabilities‘, which they have been very clear about for some time now. All options lost. In part to the circus that Turkey had put in place. Some give us: ‘Turkey Has Not Revealed All About Khashoggi Killing: President Erdogan‘, others give us: ‘Khashoggi’s remains may have been burned in well‘, items like ‘not all revealed‘, ‘may have been‘, as well as a few other implied making statements that leave too much doubt on the matter. The fact that Turkey apparently has not revealed all implies orchestration. As the lackey of Iran it makes perfect sense, the fact that the media has been skating around that issue for months now does not. The fact that Turkey is trying to push the US, whilst they should have revealed all the facts and evidence is a much larger issue.

Let’s be clear, I am not stating that Saudi Arabia is innocent (because I cannot tell), I am not stating that nothing happened (something happened that is clear, what exactly happened is another matter), I am merely claiming that there are too many issues in all this from the very beginning. When it comes to the media, we see close to 18 million placements on ‘Kim Kardashian’ and ‘boobs’, we see 889,000 placements on ‘Jamal Khashoggi’ and ‘tapes’, yet how many made a critical analyses on the tapes? We see mention in papers on: “a man alleged to be Maher Mutreb, the suspected coordinator of the mission who worked for some time in the kingdom’s embassy in London, is quoted as replying to the Washington Post columnist“, we see ‘alleged’, so how were the tapes critically analysed? We also see: “The report adds that a later recording captures another “hitman”, Mustafa al-Madani, who was used as a body double to Khashoggi, saying: “It’s really creepy that I am wearing the clothes of someone who was killed minutes ago.”” as we see ‘a later recording’ should that not be one and the same recording? Then there is ‘transcript of a tape recording’, the fact that it is stated to be ‘a recording’ not ‘the recording’ is also mind for analyses and that list goes on.

We see claims by a Kardashian getting numerous cross references, with Khashoggi there is a consistent stream of doubts and debatable issues. As I stated, I am not saying nothing happened, I am merely wondering what actually happened. The fact that Turkey goes crying to USA to put pressure on Saudi Arabia merely gives more and more debate and debatable doubt to the entire setting. We also see the mention at the UN of “The Special Rapporteur travelled to Ankara and Istanbul with British Baroness Helena Kennedy, a forensics expert who sits in the House of Lords, and homicide investigator Paul Johnston“, yet in the BBC we see: “Evidence suggests the murder of Jamal Khashoggi was planned at the highest level, Baroness Helena Kennedy says“, yet here the BBC states ‘evidence suggests’, which is something different from ‘Evidence shows beyond reasonable doubt’ and for the most that should initially suffice if the stakes were not too high for comfort. In the UK the Press Gazette gives us: “After an initial examination of the evidence, Callamard found that Khashoggi was the victim of a “brutal and premeditated killing planned and perpetrated by officials of the state of Saudi Arabia”“, yet when we look on we also get claims on quotes made in 2017. All an emotional package to push us in a certain direction, and whilst we might accept: “Woefully inadequate time and access was granted to Turkish investigators to conduct a professional and effective crime-scene examination and search required by international standards for investigation,” the fact is that the event occurred on Saudi territory and the Turkish government has no jurisdiction there. If there was such a level of evidence with the tapes, they would have been made public, yet we see more and more games played by the Turkish government making the issue debatable again and again. We can argue that if they had gone out and revealed everything, the entire setting would be different. They basically invalidated themselves with all the preposterous claims.

This is when we go by the source I used (at https://pressgazette.co.uk/jamal-khashoggi-un-saudi-investigation/). As stated there are issues, there really are, but the emotional games played using the media takes away a lot of credibility. As we were shown “Germany halted arms exports to Saudi Arabia over what it said was the uncertainty surrounding the murder“, we now see well over $20 billion in deals going to other places. That is the name of the game. The issues are important because the governments being holier than though, yet refusing to hold Turkey to account over well over 200 incarcerated journalists is part of the entire package. It comes across as a mockery when we get treated to Turkish journalist Nazli Ilicak who is now apparently serving life plus 6 years in prison. Now we can agree that one should not be the other and I would agree with this. Yet the fact that there is doubt on many levels and the fact that the media kept on shouting and screaming ‘alleged‘ as well as ‘according to unnamed sources‘ whilst there is all kinds of issues in several directions is also a reason for some to not include certain parties. We can argue the same part in the stage with the USA, when we consider “The US Senate, in a largely symbolic gesture, voted in December to end US military support for the war in Yemen and blame the Saudi crown prince for the murder of Khashoggi“, this whilst we can agree that a partial case can be made for the Yemen conflict, the fact remains that the Houthi forces have been receiving support from both Iran as well as terrorist organisation Hezbollah, making the withdrawal by the US a bit questionable (yet not invalid), as for blaming the Crown Prince whilst there has been no evidence showing his involvement is just slightly too silly. If there was clear evidence beyond all reasonable doubt that would be one part, but that part has not been given, now once in 16 weeks makes the claim silly, France was happy though, so there is that to consider.

There is still space for the Dutch if they reconsider a few places. I am decently certain that Saudi Arabia would love to get their ships upgraded with the Dutch Goalkeeper system which is (for the most) a defensive system. And that is merely the defence part, there is a much larger goal for Saudi Arabia and the Dutch could become contenders is a few ways. And in regards to the stage, is being critical about what is written that bad a position to have? I am not stating avoiding writing anything, merely be clear and produce evidence, if we demand it in some directions, should that same request not be in all directions?

The issues evolve even now. As we were introduced to: “Jubeir said the public prosecutor responsible for the case had sought evidence from Turkey but had received no response” is the reference to Adel al-Jubeir, Saudi minister of state for foreign affairs. The fact that evidence is not shared is also an issue; it could imply that there is no evidence at all making this hot potato no longer a potato, but a disaster in the making. If the evidence was so clear, it would have been in Turkey’s interest to share it with the world and all the media (to some degree), the media will refer to the event as leaking (like they normally do). I wonder when all the facts are clearly published, what would be left?

The fact that News24 also gives us “The CIA has concluded the Saudi operation was likely directed by the powerful crown prince” is now a growing concern. It is not ‘beyond all reasonable doubt‘, it is not ‘on the likelihood of probability‘ it is merely ‘was likely directed‘, implying that evidence is missing on a whole range of issues. So when we see all the unsupported accusations, all the calls for ending cooperation with Saudi Arabia, are we even surprised that Saudi Arabia is spending their cash somewhere else? And when we see the 500 billion and 185 billion go to alternative places, how will that impact economies? To be honest, I would love to get my fingers on the full report of homicide investigator Paul Johnston. It might clear up a whole truckload of issues, and perhaps leave too much reasonable doubt. I honestly do not know, yet I would love to find out.

So when we see that here truly is too much reasonable doubt and when the US hopes to make deals for the good of the economy, we will see what the decisions form Riyadh will be. The fact that 8 hours ago the news as given with ‘Sultan Bin Salman reviews prospects of cooperation with Russian space officials‘ is from my point of view a first message that Saudi Arabia is seeking more interactions on a global scale (read alternative cooperation partners), the fact that it is not going to Europe or the US should be a clear indication that there are troubles brewing under the Saudi sands, and more is coming when we look at the upcoming cutbacks that NASA will be facing.

When we see the amount of evolution that Saudi Arabia is trying to give its own infrastructure should be a massive input towards global economies, but so far the players needing it the most end up with the least, it could of course be a coincidence, but when we realise that it is not, can we actually place any blame, or should we merely blame our own politicians for bluffing whilst holding merely a pair of threes, I will let you decide on that one.

Too many questions and a lack of clear reporting contributed to all this, of that I personally have little to no doubt at all.

 

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Two sides of currency

There was more news yesterday. The article that gave me the previous view has been updated with a new one (at https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/feb/16/shamima-begum-isis-extremism-expert-criticises-sajid-javid). At the foundation of it is the view of Hanif Qadir, CEO of the Active Change Foundation. I disagree with him on a few levels. Now before I begin, we need to look at his ‘resume’, this is important in this case. As such we see: “Hanif once joined Al Qaeda members in Afghanistan, but was deterred by the crimes he saw being committed against civilians and turned his back on them. Upon his return to the UK, he vowed to safeguard young men and women from similar experiences, losing their lives and harming their communities. Having a unique understanding and hard-won experience of the modus operandi of Al Qaeda / ISIS inspired groups and individuals, he is now recognized as arguably the best violent extremist and de-radicalization expert in Europe“, the important part is that he knows the game, he knows what is at stake, yet I still disagree.

When we see: “Hanif Qadir said Sajid Javid’s reaction to the teenager’s predicament fed the narrative of Isis. On Friday Javid said he “would not hesitate” to prevent the return of UK Isis recruits, an approach at odds with Begum’s family in Bethnal Green, east London, who want the 19-year-old to return home “as a matter of urgency”“, I am with Javid on this. In addition there is: “Javid is fuelling the [Isis] narrative and giving wind to the sails of other extremists. If we continue with this trajectory we’ll be sowing the narrative for them to reap and use against us“, it is a fair enough view to have, but that is the setting when all was ‘well’ with ISIS, ISIL, Al Qaeda and such. This is no longer the case. They are not defeated, that much is certain, yet the world is very aware on how desperate they have become. The next part we see is: “If the government doesn’t change their approach to this, we potentially have a second wave of Isis coming, the connecting up and reloading of Isis, fence-sitters who are more sympathetic to another kind of narrative” and finally we get: “Baroness Sal Brinton, president of the Lib Dems, who described Begum’s radicalisation as a form of grooming. “We know that in that particular school three girls went [to join Islamic State], but probably more were approached. Surely our child protection laws have to kick in. As she returns we should look at what happens, as she was 15, and what happened out there“. I think that the cure is much simpler. It is called targeted killing, it is a simple path; if Shamima Begum wants back she has to earn this. As the Baroness points out (a little clumsy) we understand that there was grooming, we know that there was a stage, the fact that 15 year old girls got to fly to Turkey, had access to her passport, got to travel via smugglers, into Syria implies that they have optional intelligence value. It is the price for life, plain and simple. The message needs to be clear and without any level of reservation. Those who embrace terrorism will be hunted down and put to death. The European governments have a clear responsibility to its citizens. And here we see a clear field where we do not negotiate with terrorists. There cannot be a stage of some level of ‘biased’ mercy. People like Shamima Begum will optionally open options for ISIS and become the second wave. It is almost damned if they do and damned if they don’t, in this case the setting of not allowing them back, or merely long term imprisoned might be the safest route in all this.

And again we see the failing of the EU. when we see: “In Brussels the focus has been on trying to raise standards in the swift sharing of information among EU member states, and its dissemination to border databases should there be an uncontrolled wave of returnees“, we think that we are seeing something novel, yet the dangers had been shown since 2012. One year after the Syrian war there was a massive drive of refugees. In December 2012 the number of refugee’s trying to find alternative living had surpassed 500,000. At that point there was the already growing concern that if only 0.1% was ISIS minded, there would be a massive security concern in Europe, the fact that we now see ‘the focus has been on trying to raise standards in the swift sharing of information‘ is evidence that the EU has been sitting on their hands for too long a time, whilst those sitting on their hands remained to be well paid, and you still think Brexit is a bad idea? The intelligence failing in Europe had taken monumental proportions in 2014 as the Greek-Turkish events took a larger stage. Merely 4 years and as it seemingly shows, not actual quality improvement. That is the danger that the UK faces as an Island and ISIS is too large a problem to ignore, whether they get defeated or not, the timeline shows that splinter groups will form and they will take a slow silent step hoping that governments will fall asleep again, people like Shamima Begum will assist in making that happen. So when I see: “Although Begum is likely to be traumatised, Qadir said that if she received the right mentoring, counselling and passed through the necessary security protocols, she could be successfully rehabilitated“, I see a failing in the making. At this point I completely disagree with Hanif Qadir. Only the ego driven and their need for justification will give us the story that they can rehabilitate her. There are too many pressure points for Shamima Begum. At some point some radicalised person will find a way to blame the Europeans and Americans for the loss of her two children and the cloud of terror will be on route to disaster. In addition, she will need to be monitored 24:7 for years to come, if her family failed her once, it will do so again. She will play nice the first 18 months, yet at some point, she will be ‘woken up’ and that is when the problem starts. It is amazing how people cannot learn that lesson. They seem to focus on 9/11, focus on Syria and forget about the sarin attacks (in Syria), they focus on events that the media exploded on mental health cases like Sydney Martin Place, and forget the Charlie Hebdo shooting of January 2015 to a much larger degree. Two people, Saïd and Chérif Kouachi were able to kill 12 and injure 11. What is the damage when 6-8 start having fun with a Belgium FN MAG? Consider that I could with decent ammo, set the stage for a (800 m – 1,200 m) slaughter spree in London, and consider what would not be in range on that distance? It is a direct option for hundreds of deaths in the shortest time. Now consider the impact on tourism and economy if 6-8 did that. I used this example as it is relatively easy to get a hold of one in India, Egypt, and China. Consider that ISIS still has a logistic system in place and until it is utterly destroyed weapons like that can make it into Europe a lot easier than you think. Now consider that one attack will impact a little yet 3-4 events will massively upset all lives. If you doubt that, consider how long France needed to keep its soldiers in the street, merely to make the people feel safer. Consider that impact in London, Amsterdam, Manchester and Birmingham. It will end up doing a lot more than merely spook Europeans.

If a tiger gets out of the zoo, you would like to catch it, when 3 run amok you either consider the death of the visitors, or shoot to kill as soon as you can. We would all like to hide behind the tranquiliser gun, but when there is more than one, the danger of mass carnage becomes a little too large for comfort. You can do this exercise yourself. When you are in a zoo (any zoo that has a tiger), consider three tigers to get out, how much time will you get to get yourself and optionally your children safe, actually safe? How many will not make it? Try doing it on a summer day when the zoo is filled with children on school excursions. How many do you expect to die?

That is the actual situation, yet the area is not a zoo, it is a city filled with people and the members of ISIS are in their stage of ‘doing the will of Allah‘ in the end being nothing more than rabid animals. They will kill indiscriminately. We sometimes look back to videos like https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LItKd2VE-NE, yet these are seemingly the most humane ones. Sources filter the video’s away as soon as they can (which we understand completely) and as such we have no reference just how inhumane the actions of these terrorists are, and as the spoof video’s come (like https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Momc2e1wHG8) we end up merely persuading ourselves that it is all a joke, yet it is not. The problem is when it happens, the moment you get the real deal the first thing you will do is blame someone else, it was their fault. It is not, you will be just as much to blame as anyone else. So when we consider: “Ferdinand Grapperhaus, recently braved the critics by revealing that the government was cooperating with local authorities in Syria for the return of women accused of Isis membership and their children, and if this woman is shown to be involved with ISIS in any capacity, at that point will you blame Ferdinand Grapperhaus for allowing this to happen, or will you blame yourself for getting him elected? The problem is that until something happens there is no issue, it is the hidden trap. In my personal opinion, anyone who sided with ISIS remains a danger, to others and optionally to themselves as well. Normally we have systems in place, when someone is a mental health problem we have procedures, we have support systems in place. When they actively engage with ISIS, ISIL and Al Qaeda in the attack on others, either directly on the front lines or in support functions behind the lines, we have nothing and weirdly enough, it is the ISIS support people that become the larger problem down the line, they can really rack up the damage in whatever nation they end up living in.

That is the currency we all forget, that is the danger we allow others to be confronted with and that is why I am in opposition of Hanif Qadir and Baroness Sal Brinton.

Have a great Sunday

 

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Updates

First of all

So whilst Microsoft is trying to rephrase their weak position through: ‘We are continuing to look at engagement as our key metric for success and are no longer reporting on total console sales‘, yes try to sell that whilst you have been all aggro on boasting boosted numbers for decades. Now that Xbox is about to become the number THREE system, they are running scared. The Nintendo Switch is now at 32 million, which surpasses the previous total number of Xbox One consoles sold, but they are currently allegedly at 41 million consoles sold, which means that there is only a 9 million gap until the most powerful console in the world degrades to the bronze position. Nintendo sold 14 million consoles in the last quarter alone, so that gives light that this is the last quarter with Xbox in the number two position, optionally the last month. Yet, I admit, my expectation of passing Microsoft by January 31st was not met, I was wrong. Yet the total number of consoles sold in the last quarter is still an amazing feat by Nintendo and it also shows that even as I was not correct in the end, my view was a lot better than all the market analysts.

The writing is on the wall.

I personally believe that some analysts have been setting the stage for shorting the stock of Nintendo. The question becomes what the law states. You see, when we look at the definition of shorting stock, the most generic version is: “he or she borrows shares of a company from an existing owner through his brokerage, sells those borrowed shares at the current market price, and pockets the cash“, yet in this case, the premise is not entirely that clear, with ‘he or she borrows‘ we need to consider that shorting the stock was done as a service for a third party, giving rise to the sale at tremendous profits. At present I seem to be wrong, there is no evidence of a setting to allow for a short sell. Yet the predictions that were made last year were so wrong, in so many ways that the overall findings would lead me to this path (there are others too). So is it just me? I would actually agree with this, was it not for the fact that the level of wrongness regarding Nintendo was so profound.

The state last year (Oct 2018) was given with ‘Nintendo Delivers Record Quarter, But Misses Estimates‘, so the stock tumbled a little less than 2%, in all this, whilst within a year the total lifetime sales of the Microsoft Xbox One were completely by 67% at that time, in addition, the software sales were almost globally ruling software top ten lists all over the place. We can argue that the ‘missed estimates’ were so ludicrously unrealistic that the entire matter had to be looked at, now we see the last quarter alone delivered 14 million consoles, which is almost 50% of what Microsoft achieved in sales between 2012 and 2016, four years versus three months, so how were estimations missed?

The puzzlement is supported even further with: “That’s Nintendo’s most profitable Q2 in eight years and a solid increase from the $211 million it booked last year.” It is in that light that I had an issue with the predictions in the last year. From my point of view Nintendo smashed almost every record, yet the stock is not reflecting that, giving rise to a few issues, but as a non-trader and a non-economy educated person, I cannot give the weight to that thought, yet the thought remains.

And now that we are treated to: ‘Nintendo cuts Switch sales forecast despite strong holiday season‘ the matter should be set, yet I am not convinced. Even as we see 14.5 million consoles up to now the last two months are unlikely to give them the 5.5 million consoles they need, they expect to get 2.5 million consoles and that seems achievable. I am not convinced that the 5.5 million consoles cannot be met, merely because Microsoft is on the ropes and there is no marketing, no advertising to reflect that. In this aggressive expansion universe it seems odd that Nintendo is not taking up the gauntlet to that degree.

They drastically improved visibility, especially compared to the WiiU. They have the titles that have a large appeal across the board and the people who do play the Switch love the interactions. In addition the shock news of Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 and the fact is that it is exclusively to Nintendo Switch is not merely news, it is equally a shocker to Sony as well, as this was the kind of stuff that Sony needed to prevent from happening. The fans (including me) loved the first one on Xbox 360 and as we see the foundation of the original Gauntlet added to the DC and Marvel Universe, we get a game any comic book fan would love to play and nearly everyone that was one did and loved it. So to get this exclusively to Switch is a dealmaker as well as a record breaker. I doubt that this game will be out in time to get the next quarter sales up to the degree it needs to be upped, but it will soar sales of Nintendo yet again (optionally not in time to make the 20 million marker).

So did Nintendo do it wrong? I am not convinced, they made huge mistakes in the WiiU era and seemingly repaired all those flaws in the Nintendo Switch stage, no matter what estimates were not met, we now see that Nintendo Switch has gotten to 45% mark of the PlayStation 4 lifetime sales in under 2 years which is quite the feat as Microsoft got nowhere near that result, ever!

In second place

This is given to us by the Guardian (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jan/31/italy-slips-into-recession-for-third-time-in-a-decade-economy) it is in the setting of the same wall with more writing. It was to be expected as Italy has a whole range of economic anchors and downfalls. Yet I had hoped that Italy would have been able to stagnate their economy; alas they do not get to be that lucky and recession is the result. The problem is that this could also adversely affect France at present. It is (according to the Business Insider) yet at present the recession there is most likely, yet not a certainty. No matter how it wields, the French President will have to make a few committing jumps on several levels and as the stage between the US and the EU is polarising France will be on the side of the French needs, which by the way is not on par with American needs, so the Europeans have that to look forward to in the next 5 weeks. It is also the Italian part where we see failings, the Guardian gives us: “The deputy prime minister Luigi Di Maio, the head of the Five Star Movement, said the recession was proof that Europe’s budget rules should be relaxed to allow Italy to stimulate its economy back to growth“, which is the larger mistake. That approach did not work for the ECB and now the EU nations have a 3 trillion Euro anchor around their necks, adding debt will not have any true influence on the economy. the entire spending spree is now to be the anchor that drowns the 27 EU nations sooner rather than later and that is the overbearing part why Brexit was essential, the moment the UK is cut form that, the entire mess evolves too fast for anyone to correct for. The entire mess on four economies, where the one (UK) leaves and two (France and Italy) have merely a recession to offer, which means no options at all leaving it all to Germany who has enough for the ace of spades to be handed to them again and again. Germany avoided recession as it grew by 0.1%, which means that they only defeated the recession on the academic principle. It still means that the German economy is stagnating and that is not a good feeling when you are a German. So whilst we now see a whole parade of blaming the UK on making matters worse through a chaotic Brexit, I merely state that these idiots only have themselves to thank. If they had done something about the lack of transparency at the ECB as well as muzzle Mario Draghi from spending 3 trillion euro’s, money they never had, the situation would not be this dire (as I personally see it). The fact that the Business Insider also reported: (at https://www.businessinsider.com.au/europe-economic-gdp-growth-data-heading-to-recession-2019-1) “Junk bonds went through the roof. Total issuance of junk bonds from non-financial companies (rated BBB) went parabolic, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch, as more highly rated bonds declined“, it is directly linked to the problem, that market went up by €100,000,000,000 in the last year alone, so this time if there is another meltdown (like 2008) and it happens, Europe will not see the fallout as it happened in Wall Street. No, this time around Europe will be the cause of it all to a much larger extent, so the impact on Europe will be beyond disastrous. Whatever quality of life there is, the Europeans can kiss it goodbye for decades. They could quite likely desire the time of harsh austerity, how is that on forecasting quality of life?

In combination

The EU is in a bad place and it has been reflecting all over the place. You see, last November we were treated to: ‘CPPIB is shorting $750 million worth of EU stock, making it one of the most active short-sellers in Europe, data show‘, more important, it gets an added “Unusual in that Canada’s biggest pension plan also tends to hold ‘rather long-term’ positions“. It seems a perfectly valid place to be in, especially when we see that so far that pattern seems valid. We see the additional “the CPPIB has nearly doubled the number of its disclosed short positions since last year, to 23 from 14. That places CPPIB 14th on the list of the most active short sellers in Europe“, as stated before, I can see the presence, and in this case I cannot explain it (merely because I am not knowledgeable enough to do so). Now, as we see the recession hitting Italy, followed by France soon enough, we might see the reflection on how the gains for the CPPIB could be one of the most profitable ones they have ever had. Even as there is still a little doubt, the firm holding ‘$356.3 billion in assets’, might soon be growing to a half a trillion wealth management colossal. With the positions becoming winners as Talend SA, Wirecard and PostNL falling like a brick in free flight, we see that the CPPIB is lunging forwards through growth (for now).

When we see the impact markets where the fun of wealth comes through the investing towards the gloom of failure, there we see profits soar, profits for those selling short that is. This is not the end or the beginning of the end. As France is setting the stage to move directly into a recession we will see more and more short selling profiteers and as France stumbles, the eyes of all will focus on Greece. Even as we are given ‘Greece moves towards ending austerity with rise in minimum wage‘, it is hard to predict the outcome. It makes perfect sense to do this and when you realise it is significantly less than half of what an Australian would get over that same period. It makes us wonder how the Greeks had been able to keep themselves alive. I personally hope that the view of Alexis Tsipras works out the way he thinks it will, the case is viable, and will it work? Only time will tell at present. Yet it is also a dangerous place. That is seen with: “A glimmer of light emerged on Monday as borrowing costs on 10-year bonds dropped to a four–month low and Tsipras announced that the government would imminently be issuing a five-year bond“, we get the logic of essentially needing to borrow, but Greece is in a much too dangerous place and those bonds could backfire in a terrible way, I believe that the bond issuing was done too early, in a time when there is still too much to lose. In that I actually hope that I am wrong, yet my track record towards predicting these events have been too often on the nose and that worries me to no end.

In this Bloomberg view supports mine (at https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-01-07/all-the-risks-besieging-europe-bonds-are-spilling-over-into-2019), the headline ‘All the Risks Besieging Europe Bonds Are Spilling Over Into 2019‘ gives that. Even as the view does not include Greece, the overall risk will be hitting all EU nations (as well as the UK). There are two parts to this, the first opposing me is the view “The risk of spillover from Italy is in our view overestimated,” by Arne Lohmann Rasmussen, head of fixed-income research at Danske Bank A/S. Both that as well as the positivity that he thinks that Spain brings is set on realism, the man is a professional, let’s not forget that. Yet on my side we see: “What happens in Italy is still likely to be felt in its Mediterranean peer, albeit not to the extent of the euro-area debt crisis earlier this decade” this is the Goldman view and I believe t is more accurate, more important the doubt and worrying nature of these investors will make them sketchy and shift happy on a few levels, so when Italy is hit, France will get a beating as will Greece and it will affect Spain too, depending on their economy optionally a lot less and there we get back to the academic non recession of Germany, that 0.1% in the plus, when that gets hit negatively it will escalate the Mediterranean issues by a lot more hitting Spain for certain and hitting the others harder. It is merely my view, yet I believe it to be the correct one. For how much is unknown, I have no idea and I am not willing to guess. We will see a lot more by the end of March. It is at that point where we see what the actual impact will be, at the point the people will decide to either enjoy a little sunshine or make sure that they can avoid the winter of their bank accounts, in Europe these options have become mutually exclusive, an impact that will hit tourism in Greece and Spain in more ways than one. At least the Greek prediction that their tourism will level off in 2019 is decently realistic, which opposes the view: ““2019 will be Greece’s year,” according to DER Touristik, the largest travel company in German-speaking countries” one that is wishful thinking at best.

 

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Ceasing not firing

The mess in Yemen has not stopped escalating; it is a situation that is not even close to a surprise. Yet what is a surprise is the large level of denial that the media has on the matter. There are a few that do cover it, but the amount is way below what is to be expected from a humanitarian disaster like this one. The Guardian gave us two days ago: “Deadlines for a retreat of Houthi troops in Yemen, agreed in talks last month, have had to be delayed, the UN special envoy for Yemen, Martin Griffiths, has said. He also conceded plans for prisoner exchanges have not gone to plan.” In all this is it easy to point the finger at the Houthi side of it and for the most that would be correct. The entire matter follows “Al Jazeera’s Hashem Ahelbarra said there were doubts from the very beginning about the feasibility of the ceasefire agreement being implemented” and in all this Hashem Ahelbarra has been correct in that assessment. I will not make any consideration whether Major General Patrick Cammaert, a retired Dutch general who served as the United Nations Force Commander for the Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo was the right call, I have no way of giving a good unbiased overview on that level, my mention is to make clear that I do not support that the media has been living with their shallow innuendo assessments, they are shallow as I personally see them, and I am personally convinced that they are utterly wrong on many fields. In all this I see the absurd absence of holding the Houthi forces to account. Even as it was a day ago, when some sources gave us ‘Seven killed in Yemen market bombing blamed on Houthi rebels‘, the rest of the media remained silent and that is definitely not OK.
So as we were treated to: “A bomb attack in a market killed seven Yemeni civilians including a photographer for a UAE television channel in the government-controlled town of Mokha“, as well as “A photographer for Abu Dhabi TV, Ziad al-Sharabi, was among the dead, the official Saba news agency quoted information minister Moammer al-Eryani as saying. A correspondent for the same network, Faisal Al-Zabhani, was among the wounded, he said. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, but Saba blamed it on the Iran-aligned Houthis. From my point of view, there is unlikely to be any claims coming. The Houthi forces are on the way out and they are trying to make sure that the death count, the logistical damage and the destruction of infrastructure is all that is left for them that is until we kill them and hold Iran directly accountable. Even as we were informed four days ago on ‘Mortar attack on the Red Sea Mills in Hodeidah started a fire in silos holding tonnes of wheat‘, most of the other media remained silent. So as we were informed (at that point) on “The sources said Houthi representatives on a joint committee to co-ordinate implementation of the truce were refusing to honour the agreement to open safe passages and allow mine-clearing operations along routes for distribution of relief“, we see just how sore the Houthi forces are when they lose, they were never realistically going to win, but to willingly leave millions to die of starvation shows just how soft we have become when it reflect on our willingness to protect the actual victims in all this. My view might not be completely helpful as (from my point of view) I would assess that the actions by the UN special envoy for Yemen, Martin Griffiths should be seen as cowardly ones. When I am treated to: “he said he “categorically rejected” calls to name the party obstructing the Stockholm agreement“, I personally do not consider ‘dealing with a complex situation on the ground‘ a valid excuse, even if it is an accurate one. The setting is simple, in all this we state that Hodeidah is simple, all armed events are off limits, an armed response is required to anyone breaking that cease fire and in addition, any proven involvement of Iran allows for additional sanctions, I would state that all 8 remaining parties are no longer allowed to get Iranian fuel, breaking that agreement will force economic sanctions on that front too.

You see, America will never go for that one. It is India that is their nightmare, not the cheap Iranian oil, but it is the pharmaceutical patent agreements that the US desperately needs, their own need of protectionism is in place and showing the larger impact is not what they want. Yet, we have no choice, if we are to salvage any lives currently on the edge of dying in Yemen; we have no choice but to set the grinder to the meat and bones of the transgressors in this.

Another truth comes from Salem Baobaid (coordinator Islamic relief) as he informed us of “Until now, little has changed for ordinary people. After the months and months of bombing, shelling and starvation, it will take much more than a ceasefire to start breathing life into people who have been living on the edge of death for so long. Things are so bad that large groups of people have started living in squalid, toxic conditions on the edge of the city’s main, highly contaminated garbage dump – just so they can forage for scraps“, he is absolutely correct and I feel that we passed that point already in October 2018, so as I am treated to: “He said members of his aid team had been killed by stray bullets and shelling was continuing” I am not overly surprised, I am surprised that the media is steering clear too much on these events. So even as we relish the fact that his team was able to save on child, the fact that there are 400,000 more that they have been unable to safe at present should be the largest reason to get the blue berets involved as soon as possible. In this regard I wonder if we need France to step in. From my point of view, the only ones truly properly trained for this is the French Legio Patria Nostra. The French foreign legion (or Étagère) is close to the only force on the planet that could set the stage to protect the people of Yemen against the Iranian backed Houthi forces. It might also be the first time that Iran gets the clear message that their lives are no longer regarded as valid at present. It will also be a clear message that the Houthi stall tactics should be cut short and be ended in any way that we can as the blood of millions of civilian Yemeni’s would be on our hands, inaction makes us not indifferent, we become complicit in the act of murder, that is a clear message that we have to accept, the inaction of us should have held us to account at least a year ago, but to some extent we were unaware, the media kept us in the dark for too long on too many issues.

The problem is not merely the manpower that is active, the problem is that Iran is funding too much there. The landmines, the missiles and the weapons show that Iran has a massive vested interest in all this, yet the media does not call them to account. The evidence should have upped the ante by every western nation against Iran, yet they are not acting. The fact that the Associated Press announced merely two days ago ‘Germany says EU soon to launch Iran funding scheme‘ (at https://apnews.com/d72d2d8b4ee0458b9c6acda9f7787eed) shows quite clearly that the EU is all about keeping the Iranian events in Yemen in denial. So whilst Iran is pumping tens of millions into Yemen and Hezbollah, we are treated to “The European Union is on the verge of launching an alternative channel to send money to Iran that would sidestep U.S. sanctions against the Islamic republic, Germany’s foreign minister said Monday” exactly how does that assist anyone, especially the starving Yemeni’s?

So as Heiko Maas is giving us “We don’t want Iran to leave this agreement and start the enrichment of uranium again,” whilst we accept that the likelihood of happening in some secret lab is close to 95% certain should not be considered? How is denial a reward for spending billions that goes straight to the war chests of terrorists?

Are these outlandish questions?

You see, it is not merely me in this. When we see: “We assess that Iran will attempt to translate battlefield gains in Iraq and Syria into long-term political, security, social, and economic influence while continuing to press Saudi Arabia and the UAE by supporting the Huthis in Yemen.” A report by Dan Coats, the Director of National security, released yesterday to the Senate Select committee on Intelligence, we see the clarity of the evidence given by several sources, and several verifiable sources. Yet the EU is adamant on their denial tactics regarding Iran, making issues worse s it allows Iran to continue its current path for a lot longer, optionally killing millions of Yemeni’s, blood that must be shown to be on the hands of the EU commissioners allowing for this, making Heiko Maas an optional complicit mass murderer.

Does it sound better now?

Does it sound better when the contributing politicians get the cloak of guilt added to their name, their career and their function? When the tactic continues of ‘ceasing not firing‘ on others, we need to see what contributed to that and we need to put it out in the open. We need to push for a stage where the people allowing for Hezbollah, Houthi and Iranian interests to be placed in the limelight and showing what they enabled to happen. No matter how complex it all is, tainting can oversimplify the solution and optionally show the world and many parties what they are privy and complicit towards, simplifying one element can have a much more powerful impact than some realise.

Even as we accept the words by Director Coats, he made one mistake with: “Iran’s regional ambitions and improved military capabilities almost certainly will threaten US interests in the coming year, driven by Tehran’s perception of increasing US, Saudi, and Israeli hostility, as well as continuing border insecurity, and the influence of hardliners“, you see from my point of view, the passage should read: “Iran’s regional ambitions and improved military capabilities almost certainly will threaten US interests in the coming year, driven by Tehran’s perception of increasing US, Saudi, and Israeli hostility, as well as continuing border insecurity, and the influence of hardliners, whilst we see documented events of continued financial support towards terrorist groups that is directed towards the US and its allies” reads mostly the same, yet the ‘missed’ events that is seen towards Hezbollah, Hamas and Houthi forces are evidence of that part. I found it slightly odd that this part was ‘missed’ in that report, especially as there has been documented evidence around since August 2018, so in that regard the US is also playing a game, not merely one founded on intelligence, but one that allows for conversation with smaller parties, and for the life of me I cannot fathom why, especially when we hear the US state again and again ‘we do not negotiate with terrorists

So when we get back to ‘ceasing not firing‘, whilst we know some of the elements are out in the open, why do we not openly attack those who do not abide by a cease fire? Every hour that we do not act, Yemeni civilians die and that is blood on our hands, all our hands at present.

 

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A case of Molasses

We have seen the news, we see the new news and we are all wondering what the impact will be. I am of course talking about Mario Draghi and his ECB minions. MarketWatch is the most recent one with ‘All eyes on Mario Draghi as investors look for ECB to acknowledge risks to Eurozone economy‘ (at https://www.marketwatch.com/story/all-eyes-on-mario-draghi-as-investors-look-for-ecb-to-acknowledge-risks-to-eurozone-economy-2019-01-23). There are more sources and the total amount of sources is likely to increase over the next 10 hours. We have all heard it before, all the dangers and the gloominess, so when we see “it’s time for European Central Bank President Mario Draghi to acknowledge growing risks to the Eurozone economic outlook” people might ignore it all, which is not a good thing this time around. You see, at this point the ECB is at minus €3 trillion, France is at minus €2.2 trillion, Germany is at minus €2 trillion, Italy is at minus €2.3 trillion, Spain is at minus €1.2 trillion and the UK is at minus £2.1 trillion. All that debt, most governments have no further degrees of freedom to work with. And the media is not properly informing the people, for them it is all business as usual and it is not.

These are merely the larger players and I am hoping that the UK can get out of the EU before this collapses, because the moment it does the EU member states are in a world of hurt and will remain to be in that stage for close to 5 generations. That is the impact of debt and most players are all in denial as they need to gravy train to provide for them a little longer. When we consider surplus and deficit of GDP the message does not get any better. When considering the larger economies, the Netherlands, Sweden and Germany are in a surplus, the Netherlands merely at 0.42%, yet the rest are all in deficit as bad as -4.54% (Spain), France, Italy and the UK are at minus 2.44% or worse, the image is that bad and the UK has options to turn it around as it leaves the EU, it will still take a lot of work and optionally 2 generations, which is still better than 5 generations, but it will be a hard fight, anyone in denial of that element is merely utterly stupid.

Even in the surplus, the Netherlands and Sweden who are in a good place will need to be extra careful and tighten every belt possible, because one bad event will turn surplus to deficit quite quickly. In addition, the Netherlands is relying on the Rotterdam harbours to keep on working as good as they have been and thanks to Germany being at +0.76% they end up having options for now, but the difference between +0.76% and minus 0.56% is merely two strikes away and there German trade union Ver.di. is not too much useful for now, and it is not merely them, the mess is growing in Germany. It is as I personally see it the impact of long term Austerity. So as we see: “Workers are seeking a minimum hourly wage of €20“, which is close to 36% better than in Australia (in general), we are treated to the impact of the cost of living and even as a lot think that their bosses have it way too good (not entirely a wrong thought), what was positive could turn into a long term negative part too easily and the national and ECB debts will take a massive toll to the quality of life soon enough. Oh, and when the German situation worsens, which is likely to happen by Q3 2019, there will be the impact on the Netherlands too. Even the minimal impact of 0.3% would move the Dutch economy to a nil point; at that point they are one move away from recession and the monster that feeds it.

That has been the clear danger for the longest of time and the entire disaster called the bond buying scheme by Mario Draghi will impact Europeans for a very long time. You see, the bonds that do mature in 2020 will be a non-deniable impact and when the ECB and those connected to it fail to push forward those bonds and payment is due, the entire mess will really look like ‘a shit on the front door’. Good luck trying to get anything done at that point. This is the biggest part in my view of the UK getting out of the EU as fast as possible and France is no longer limited to Marine Le Pen going for Frexit, now we get the Gilets Jaunes’ manifesto where Frexit is the top demand, they are all catching on that the EU is the limiting factor in all this and so far we have seen and in most cases proven that only large corporations truly benefit from the EU in all this, the rest is merely window dressing and people in general and to a much larger degree have had enough.

The issues I warned about in 2015 are not merely coming true; the overbearing danger of the UK delaying Brexit could still bite to a much larger degree, so it was always clear that the break needed to be fast and even a no-deal Brexit was better than delay. This is seen in a few ways, when the others follow (France, Italy and optionally Germany) these larger players will unite in trade deals really fast making them the growing players soon thereafter, the rest will suddenly feel the pinch of all the smaller players filling their pockets and now realising that debt has to be paid for, at that point we will see an infrastructure collapse on a scale so large that it will cause nightmares to a large part of the populations in the 27 member states. Do you think that banks and wealthy people will sit still? No, they will run to EVERY profit shore possible, even if that means collapsing on their national grounds. If you think that this will not happen, think again, I merely listed the larger players, but they are all financially stretched and when the EU starts breaking down, we will all learn that the ECB is a paper tiger and the debt will get shoved into whatever nation is still part of it, collapsing the financial infrastructures tout suit.

As Germany is in a positive state, their departure is not to be expected, but that feeling changes when the UK is gone and that will trigger the French financial revolution (aka Frexit) soon thereafter. So when these two are gone, the entire mess of comparison to a barge, I made that comparison in May 2013 when I stated: “Consider a large (really large) barge, that barge was kept in place by 4 strong anchors, namely UK, France, Germany and Italy. Yes, we to do know that most are in shabby state, yet, overall these nations are large, stable and democratic (that matters). They keep the Barge EU afloat in a stable place on the whimsy stormy sea called economy. If the UK walks away, then we have a new situation. None of the other nations have the size and strength of the anchor required and the EU now becomes a less stable place where the barge shifts. This will have consequences, but at present, the actual damage cannot be easily foreseen“, now that same barge is at risk of losing two if not more anchors, how much stability will remain? I can tell you right now that the impact will be huge and as the economies will take hit after hit; the wrong people will get to enrich themselves through the hardship of others, that is the consequence of a Wall Street state of mind too.

so when we see the entire political machine delaying and moving like molasses towards the undoing of infrastructure through inaction, we need to consider the damage that they are inflicting on the people and when they need to explain themselves on the news, how much consideration will you give the politician stating: ‘We thought that we were acting on the best interest of the people‘ as your quality of life goes into the basement for the next decade?

And still the people are getting lied to. From my personal point of view even the UN is involved at this point. That part is seen (at https://news.un.org/en/story/2019/01/1030902) where we are treated to ‘Global economy to see ‘steady’ growth of three per cent in 2019 despite risks, says UN’, the entire delusional statement, whilst we see the slowing in both Germany and France to a larger degree, Spain and Italy are already in the decline and whatever is gained is set against the debt of the largest four economies, that too impacts the economic growth as none of the nations has any financial options to create growth or set the stage for an increased infrastructure for years to come. So the 3% marker is what I personally would consider the delusional thought of a fictive inclined mind, even if whatever pressure would be applied to stop Brexit that predictive number is not realistic.

So when we see: “Among these looming dangers, accelerating trade tensions are already “having an impact” on global trade and employment, Mr. Harris told UN News. In addition, rising national debt is also crippling many countries’ ability to provide basic services, but this and other risks – such as those from climate change and waning support for international cooperation – could be avoided or minimized if countries worked together to do so, the UN’s top economist insisted. With mounting pressures in the areas of international trade, international development finance and tackling climate change, the report underscores that strengthening global cooperation is central to advancing sustainable development.

We see the delusion of United Nations Chief Economist Elliott Harris and his dangers of ‘accelerating trade tensions’, ‘rising national debt’ and ‘waning support for international cooperation’ are all set against ‘strengthening global cooperation’. So how is a person allowed to sit in the place he is? How can the additions and denial of massive factors are negated by the mere idea of ‘strengthening global cooperation’? The fact that the bulk of the EU nations cannot get their tax laws in order giving rise to properly tax the FAANG group and a few other players is evidence that the system is broken beyond believe and the entire mess of some magical +3% economy where the numbers deny the realistic notion of overwhelming nil status or actual recession makes the entire mess larger and I believe it is time to hold such reports up to scrutiny for prosecution of these elected officials who make more than 90% of the rest of a nation, there should be prosecution for those giving reports that are debatable to the largest of degrees. That will never happen of course, but in all this the media will give the fake positivism of 3% and in the end not hold these people to account after the fact.

The system is rigged to not leave the larger population with anything and that is soon becoming the actual driver to break the entire EU asunder. When that happens remember those who stated that the EU would become a better place and call them out in public, they will love that.

 

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