Tag Archives: Great Depression

Just say ‘BANG!’

We all laugh and we all seem to point fingers, we all seem to endure the blame game. How governments are bowing to the bully (President Trump) and convict without evidence a corporation and a nation (Huawei and China), yet at the core of it all, we are merely sheep, we bask in the sun as the wolves take one or two sheep, and as long it is not us, we merely watch and remain basking in inaction. The media helps here by trivialising news, by basking in inaction on matters that are reported on, without the need for evidence by howling ‘This was what was told to us, we merely report’. So where are the questions on President Trump, who once claimed that it would merely impact 1.5%? Now that 1.5 million Americans have the disease and 92,000 died of it, where is that 1.5% when it is already at 400% of what was expected, what do we get to see? A president blaming the WHO, stating that China is in its back pocket. Even when we realise that the WHO has no legal rights in any nation, realising that the EU has a massive reporting problem that affects thousands, nope, it is all about the blame game. It worked for Senator McCarthy in 1953-1955, it will work for President Trump too and so far, it seems to work. Yet the problem is expanding more and more. Now we see how people are more often in jeopardy. We see hackers and scammers with Covid-19 agendas, we see 5G blamed by short minded people and again we see EasyJet getting hacked and 9 million people just lost their credit card privacy, but there are voices that are trying to calm us “There is no evidence that any personal information has been misused”, yet they are doing more! “We are communicating with the approximately 9 million customers to advise them of protective steps”, yes how about one singular step? “We have instigated a death squad to hunt down the hackers and put them to death!” Not accepting any excuse from parents that their 17 year old did not know what he/she was doing, not some excuse that it was their first time. Nope, we set a gunto their temple and blow the brains out and televise the event so that others know, their time for cheap thrills is over, they become the cheap thrill. And we will all get notified by the media that this is too harsh, too inhumane, yet that is not the real deal is it? The shareholders and stakeholders pushing the media know that at some point THEY become the sought targets and they fear this.

When there are no targets, transgressors fear what will come and that is the fear they have and we need to drive the dagger home, drive it towards the targets that matter.

Politicians will shout ‘terrorism’ at any event, the media will report that, but they will not report and investigate the proper format of accusations, just like they refused to investigate the accusers of Saudi Arabia. First on a missing journalist no one cared about, after that on a mobile phone of a person who was too rich for his own good and no one properly vetted the evidence, they merely dropped it on the desk of a UN essay writer. The Guardian (and many others) hid behind ‘high confidence’ mentions and other media did similar actions, yet they never investigated it, did they? It was a week of jabs and then it quietly went away, that is what we signed up for and I for one have had enough of this media driven BS.

If we can’t direct them, we can tell them to be quiet whilst we fix things and the benefit of my approach is that in a depression, hackers and abusers don’t really get to have any voice in the matter. Hackers and profiteers in a stage where there are 320,000 dead people, it implies that well over 500,000 are affected and they do not really care about the life of a hacker (well their mommies and daddies do), who cares about them?

That is the stage that is in question, the stage where governments will not set a proper stage, where too many industries abused the situation towards their bottom dollar and in all this a new stage of McCarthyism is created by the current administration, all whilst the media reacts towards shareholders, stakeholders and advertisers. In this the public have had enough and they want to see real action, not what the media and politicians call actions, but something tangible and that stage is now out in the open. 

And whilst the news is all about the Covid fears, we get to see how people like Morgan Wright, a former senior adviser to the US State department as a member of the anti-terrorism assistance program, sees similar issues, he reported yesterday “He is seeing the exploitation of human behaviour on the dark web, mainly through the TOR browser, which allows pwople to obscure their identity, it is a privacy driven status now used by criminals to do with impunity” and in all this it is clear that normal jurisprudential methods are not working, so a death squad is what we need. Perhaps you like the original term better “a CIA wet team” a wet team because of all that blood, and the amount of people demanding this solution is increasing by thousands on a daily basis, this is the result when there is no longer some form of balance, when the checks and balances are taken away and the people are settled unjustly with the invoice that should have been properly taken care of. As such we are bound to see a much less appreciated group of people demanding solutions. This is what the politicians and governments are now facing, a new form of terrorism and it is based on the lack of actions by too many. 

So whilst the media is all about privacy whilst we know we do not have any, we see the larger picture, we demand to see factual evidence, we demand repercussions for the transgressors, a stage we haven’t faced ever before, those who put us in this situations forgot that checks and balances requires some sort of balance, and as that was taken away from too many, we demand evidence on the validity of gravy trains and in that absence these people better show long term results, or a lynch mob is all that remains, McCarthy never learned that lesson, in 1950 6,000 miles was a lifetime away, now it is merely a click and nothing more than a few mere seconds. That will become clear soon enough, it comes with every additional Covid death and every lockdown hindering us, the media forgot about that too, in all this the forgotten parts will weigh against them all, and something will have to give, especially with the US in a $25 trillion debt and one in four Americans out of work, it is a situation that is worse than the combined negativity that the great depression and 2008 meltdown showed, but both together will force a new reality, it is in this setting that a loud mouthed republican was possibly the worst of the worst scenarios that the US has to content with, I am not stating that Russia and China are in better positions, but they can sit on the sidelines whilst the US and partially the EU burns down, their inactions allow for all this, there is no enemy to smite and Saudi Arabia was never an enemy, and the people love a real enemy and as such the hackers will have to do. I think that none of us saw this coming, it was never in the books, but ‘New Terrorism’ will soon become very real and the media is out of bounds on this one, their inactions helped create it. 

 

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Insensitive Me

Yes, at times I tend to be truly absent of empathy, especially when I see small items like ‘as companies struggle with debt‘, so as I am given ‘Experts warn companies that have gorged on cheap money for the past decade face going out of business‘, some of them relied on the famous sales quote ‘Fake it till you make it’, and now we see the ‘warning’ sign “A worldwide credit crunch triggered by the coronavirus will set in motion a wave of corporate bankruptcies that will make the global financial crisis look like “child’s play”, investors have warned.” In this my sober response would be ‘And? Why (the eff) would I care?‘, these people relied on the debt, money they never had to get beyond the point of faking it till they made it and one small flu event is now driving them out of business. So as the world is throwing trillions against it all, I wonder just how short sighted they are. The EU spent 3 trillion on an economy to start it and it never did. As such there will be a much larger toll to everyone involved. There is no upside in “The sudden loss of revenue faced by airlines, tourism-related businesses and carmakers make them extremely vulnerable” OK, we get it, it is not their fault, but we have seen an economy giving out ebts, loans and cheap travels all over the world. Now that there will be an actual cost, there is always an impact we did not see coming. And as we are treated to: “many companies will struggle to refinance debt due to a repeat of the sudden change in credit conditions that sparked the 2007 credit crunch, banking collapses and then the GFC. The prospect of no revenue for months meant creditworthiness had plummeted in exposed sectors and cut off access to funding” we see the shortsigted issues that not having reserves bring. There is now a larger cost to rolling over debts and the stage that zero revenue brings will kill off the smaller players, those players thinking that they were in the same league of the big boys and the big boys are indeed wondering if they survive this age, as such the small fishes have almost no chance. 

As such as we consider the impact of “$2 trillion worth of corporate debt is due to be rolled over this year” all whilst we see no validation of debt rolling over, and the absence of paid off debts, we see a much larger field and everyone is in a stage ‘but why me?‘, as I personally see it, it will affect everyone who did not take the option to reduce their debts. I get it, some will be in a shabby situation and none of this is on them, but to give a rise to 5 out of 500 is a little shallow, is it not? It is the station that we see with “Lindsay David, of independent consultancy LF Economics, said the coronavirus shutdown had exposed longstanding imbalances in the financial system that had been disguised by more than a decade of ultra-low interest rates and trillions of dollars from quantitative easing schemes in the major economies“, we see the stupidity of ‘longstanding imbalances in the financial system‘ and the question attached to that ‘Why was it unattended for so long?‘ is a station that no one wants to be at, no one wants to answer that part of the equation. 

As such, the quote “We know everyone is overleveraged, full-bore, full-risk,” he said. “All we were waiting for was a trigger and unfortunately that has come in the form of a health crisis.” As such it is not the fault of the Coronavirus, any trigger would have sufficed, as such being the one adhering to some Wall Street need, is set to zero and the house will take it all, it is in that light that some see players like Virgin Australia who needs to roll over $5 billion whilst it is in a stage where it cannot bring more than $500 million to the table, a mere 10%, even in the better stage where it would have been double that, rolling over is a doubtful stage for a few lenders, yet this health trigger is not the one anyone hoped or even wished for, it is a stage that was well over 10 years in the making and greed driven people filled their pockets and walked away with a multi million bonus, enough to live in luxury for the next 10 years. After which the market will resettle and their stage of profit comes again, that is what we have catered to.

So as we are introduced to “A full repeat of the post-Lehman Brothers crisis was on the cards, he said, as banks scrambled to hold on to liquidity” a lot of people have not considered the stage we see where the panic driven people first bought out all the pasta they could and after that take out their ATM and saving balance before the bank runs out, at that stage the initial point leading to the worst of the worst will be a much larger stage for everyone.

And the larger issue is seen at the end of the article with: “Let’s say you are a pension fund in Canada and six years ago you gave a bank $1bn. Every year you roll over that bond and the deal remains in place. But now you’re saying, ‘you know what, can I have that money back now?’. So the problem for the company is, where will I find $1bn? Not from its deposits or its liquidity because it’s now got more money going out than coming in.” and that is not where it ends, in October 2019 we saw “regulators should be ensuring the strength of the financial sector to withstand future risks, not weaken it, but that is not what is happening in the U.S.  Recent moves to ease regulations suggest financial stability risks are at an inflection point. Incentives to leverage will continue to rise as interest rates remain low amid a global search for yield.  Vulnerabilities that have been “moderate” could escalate quickly to “elevated”, as they did in the lead up to the 2007 – 2008 crisis“, as such some tried to ‘ease’ the Basel 3 regulations as fast as their greedy needs required, as such, we see “Phase-in arrangements for the leverage ratio were announced in the 26 July 2010 press release of the Group of Governors and Heads of Supervision. That is, the supervisory monitoring period will commence 1 January 2011; the parallel run period will commence 1 January 2013 and run until 1 January 2017; and disclosure of the leverage ratio and its components will start 1 January 2015. Based on the results of the parallel run period, any final adjustments will be carried out in the first half of 2017 with a view to migrating to a Pillar 1 treatment on 1 January 2018 based on appropriate review and calibration” (at https://www.bis.org/press/p100912.pdf), now that was then and it got a little more time “The leverage ratio1 and the Net Stable Funding Ratio (NSFR), which took effect in January 2018, and the supervisory framework for measuring and controlling large exposures, which took effect in January 2019, have yet to be adopted by all jurisdictions (Graph 1). The leverage ratio is now in force in 16 jurisdictions (one more since 2018), while 11 jurisdictions have final rules in force for the NSFR (unchanged since 2018). Only 10 jurisdictions have final rules in force for the large exposures framework.” (at https://www.fsb.org/work-of-the-fsb/implementation-monitoring/monitoring-of-priority-areas/basel-iii/) as such it is not required until 1 January 2022 (as some stated), and now that it is too late, we will get the larger impact. So how happy are you with those people making 6 figure numbers and delaying it all again and again? You will feel that part soon enough when internal systems start to buckle. We might think that President Trump $1 trillion dollar bailout is a good thing, but when that money dries up (and it will dry up a lot faster than you think) he will a scared little mouse, as he will see firsthand what 300 million angry Americans look like and corporations will see the impact of their delay and rollover tactics. Even now as we are told ‘Trump administration is asking states to hold off on releasing unemployment figures as economy plummets‘, we might start to see a much larger failing. We are in a stage where we set ourselves up for a much larger stage, one that outstages the great depression of the 30’s, it merely took a case of the flu to get us there.

Should you think I am exaggerating, consider the Bloomberg headline (at https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-03-19/goldman-sees-deepest-australian-downturn-since-great-depression) a mere 2 hours ago. It might have the sobering ‘Goldman Sees Deepest Australian Downturn Since Great Depression‘ headline, but in part the overp[aid delaying factors are to some degree cause of it all and they are hiding behind “Most of the contraction is expected to be driven by a collapse in ‘social’ consumption“, the essential part of ‘the stage of reserves is not what it needed to be‘ is not mentioned anywhere, you have to distill that from other parts and read through the emptiness of what they claim, they might claim facts, yet they do not give any part of the whole story and it will hit the US, Australia, the UK, France, Spain, Italy and to some degree even Germany. That is what we have to look forward to, at least as the Covid panic continues. It seems to me that the makers of pasta and pantry items are in a much better position. Until a month ago, the idea that San Remo ends up being one of the richest companies in Australia would have been laughed at, when you look at the empty shelves almost everywhere last week, that stage is a lot less laughable at present, I wonder in all this whether the new economic superpower will include San Remo and/or Barilla, as there is a chance that the seat of Virgin Australia on that board will be up for grabs soon enough.

 

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About that drink?

It has been a week now and I have to wonder how paranoid the week had made me. You see, the revelations of Natixis and how large its financial power is, still boggles the mind for now. This also has a lesser effect on my sanity. Whenever I see any political ‘advice’ from a bank, I wonder whether there is a Natixis link and for the top banks they are all linked. So, when I saw the article of the RABO show up, I just had to wonder (at http://www.theguardian.com/business/2014/sep/16/scotch-whisky-scottish-independence).

So, how does yesterday’s news affect Scotland? Well, the issue now is how trade affects a new nation when it becomes independent. The first issue is “Whisky is Scotland’s second-largest export behind oil and gas and is worth £4.3bn a year to the local economy, but sales could be hit if the country loses access to the EU’s free trade area and to markets in the rest of the world where Brussels has forged trade deals“. First of all is that information true and/or correct? You see, we the people (most of us) want to drink Whiskey and real Whiskey comes from Scotland. If it does not come from Scotland, it is called bourbon (at http://www.woodfordreserve.com/)! The rest tends to make it to the menu as an ‘alternative’, as some might say.

So, should we have a go at the Rabo?

It is never a bad idea to have a go at a bank, but they do have a point here. What is a major issue is the fact that we see these 11th hour messages, of feigned pressure. Why is Scotland (if they select independence), not immediately allowed a temporary membership into the trade agreements the UK is already a member of? The quote “A new Scottish government would face ‘a mountainous task’ in striking trade deals beyond Europe. Scotch is exported to about 200 countries, with major markets in the US, Singapore and South Africa, while Chinese consumers are also getting a taste for it“. You see, this article sounds nice, but the term ‘Chinese consumers are also getting a taste for it‘ means that if they get the bulk of the shipment, European customers will not be happy at all. Instead of embracing a new European adult as it left the arms of mother Britannia is just good business. Legally seen, the Rabo is absolutely right; Scotland will be its own master now and as such will have to apply for trade agreements. Yet, if we look at several sources, we see that the US is the number one destination and Singapore (with all over Asia) is on number three, if these two markets could be ‘enticed’, we would see a shifting balance. With France in second place, Spain in fourth (but due to economic issues decreasing vastly and Germany in fifth position, we see a market in motion. The spirited market is not an easy one and the Chinese changes on ‘gifts’ would also hit the drinkable gifts department and as such Whisky will get a painful dip. So, is there an option for the golden juice of the highlands? I believe that if an economy is truly about improving then this unique situation should receive its own merit. The BBC view (at http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-26987262), which they made last April shows that this ‘stalling’ need is partially on economy and partially on events and none of them are linked to the independence of the Saltire.

But I am also a person who needs to take a step back. The issues for Scotland are not small and several are out in the open, but these issues should have been resolved or at least addressed to some extent long before the vote was days away. When I looked at the initial facts and wrote the blog ‘The cradle of Whiskey‘ the issues discussed and read from both Professor Sir Donald MacKay and Ronald McDonald show no issues on trade agreements whatsoever. With their golden ambrosia so high on the export list, I feel uncertain why there was no more visibility on this. I do not remember seeing it on any decently regarded news site. Now in the 11th hour a Dutch bank comes with this? Is this intentional demoralisation or is this a case of clear cut evidence that Scotland is not ready to be independent? I remain on the fence. I have been in the ‘stronger together‘ camp for several reasons, but that has always been for pressure from outside economic issues. This is a first clear internal reason for not going independent.

So, as we see the articles piling up in the papers in the UK, the Guardian foremost, how come that several serious issues did not get the forefront until now?

It is nice to see quotes like “Alex Salmond urged tens of thousands of yes activists to ‘get to it’ by seizing the extraordinary chance for a “new dawn for Scotland”, as the final batch of polls before the vote confirmed the referendum hung on a knife-edge” (at http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/sep/17/scottish-independence-alex-salmond-david-cameron-resign), yet the issues of trade as well as the 11% deficit Scotland could face in year zero are no laughing matters. There are other issues that come to mind too. What happens to Scottish students in tertiary education? What of their international placements? If we look at the legal ramifications of trade, then we should also look at any long term plans that were there for the Scottish students, if they fall away, then Scotland will soon face economic bashing on more than one level. It is possible that these issues were looked at, yet the guardian piece as the Rabo bank is quoted implies that these matters seem to have been ‘stalled’ until after the elections, yet this impact has not clearly be shown on several fronts, which beckons the question, ‘why not?’.

Forbes have been active too (at http://www.forbes.com/sites/chriswright/2014/09/15/if-scotland-goes-a-mistake-as-big-as-the-great-depression/), they are showing other sides that did not make the news in several ways. One massive point is one that has definitely been kept from the Scottish voters: “Deutsche says the symbiotic relationship between Scotland and the rest of the UK is older and deeper than the Yes camp dares to admit. Five, it says that the idea of replicating something like Norway and Denmark – similar population sizes, links to oil (particularly in Norway) – is disingenuous. Norwegian oil and gas fields are deeper and expected to last much longer than Scotland’s which are already in decline, and Norway has its own currency; Denmark’s economy is totally different, and has a better fiscal position”, so not only is Scotland depending on oil, which still keeps them 11% in deficit, but the decline of their fields will soon become a more visible issue, then what happens? So, I remain in favour of Scotland becoming one nation (just not now), but in light of these mounting issues, we must ask the question, why is Alex Salmond not openly dealing with the issues we see here and as such, why are these facts kept from the voters?

This gets me to the final point and perhaps the only truly unacceptable view that the Guardian is giving us (at http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/sep/17/scots-final-call-rallying-political-engagement-votes). The headline “Scots’ final call: can rallying beneath the radar save the day?”, first of all, as this massive change hits 5.3 million wavers of the Saltire, this should be out in the open. Below the radar implies dealings for the benefit of a few, which is the one thing the Scots should not allow for. There is genuine anguish in the article as we see a few emotional turns, yet it is the end of it that should grip us all. “As Patrick Harvie, the Scottish Green party co-convenor, told Wednesday morning’s rally: ‘Nothing is going to be the same again, whichever way it goes.’”, I disagree,

I think that it is out in the open in new ways that Scotland is getting ready to be the new adult at the Commonwealth table, we the other members Australia, Canada, India and New Zealand should aid in setting in motion that transition, by allowing Scotland to sign trade agreements with all the perks of growing their economy to become solid. In addition, I still believe that India could be a large key player here, as I stated in my blog ‘the Cradle of Whiskey’ on the 16th of August. “As a solution, I still believe that India has options here. As the Indian generic pharmaceutical industry grows for Europe, it will need alternatives for both manufacturing, shipping (read distribution) and perhaps to a smaller extent research. Whilst everyone seems to stare blindly to London area’s where prices are through the roof, Edinburgh offers a much cheaper and no less sturdy solution”. This could still be a long term option for Scotland and if there is any truth in the statement that Scotland’s oil production was in decline, it is no longer a maybe, it is a given and an essential step to get several industrial changes going as well as opt for a few new ones. We just need to make sure that those ‘new’ players are not coming in under the flag of ‘friendship’ whilst collecting under the banner of greed, because that will never be a solution.

We have looked at shortages and surpluses for so long; it is time to see how those two can be connected to find the balance leading to progress. There has however been too many drum beating under the ‘honest’ statements on how bad it all is for others and how bad it is for Scotland, even the IMF weighed in on that. I think these people were slightly off the boil and I feel that the wording in Forbes was better, more sincere and a lot more correct “But if it happens, economies and investment patterns will adjust as they always have done. Deutsche is right that there are greater challenges facing the Scottish economy under independence than most people there have probably understood. But the idea of national pride is a powerful one, and some people are prepared to compromise a great deal to achieve it”. This is definitely true and it feels more sincere. It also seems to indicate how ‘flawed’ David Folkerts-Landau was when he stated “A ‘Yes’ vote for Scottish independence on Thursday would go down in history as a political and economic mistake as large as Winston Churchill’s decision in 1925 to return the pound to the Gold Standard or the failure of the Federal Reserve to provide sufficient liquidity to the US banking system, which we now know brought on the Great Depression in the US”, is that true Mr DFL? (the fact that he was stated in the Urban Dictionary was just a coincidence). We could see him, not as ‘flawed’, but as ‘shoddy’, ‘scant’ or ‘lacking’, but I leave that up to the readers. There were several issues involving the Great Depression of the US, and gold was there too, yet it was the inaction of President Herbert Hoover that were at the centre of this, he did set up the groundwork that led to the acts by President Roosevelt that would create the new deal and fix a lot of the issues that were around then. Now, as economies are a lot more intertwined the issue of trade pacts and the delay in signing up nations seem to be at the centre of this, so as Scotland ends up in the ‘stronger together’ field, we must acknowledge the need for change, the need for an independent Scotland, it is a side of freedom we all deserve. Is it so bad to help our sibling into becoming the stronger partner? That is what I find missing at the core of all the newscasts, the option to enable Scotland to become independent, preferably when economies are moving in a better direction, as to ensure the long term health of the land below the waving Saltire.

 

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