Tag Archives: Greece

One economy crises a day

Yes, it is the Guardian that alerts us to: ‘World economy at risk of another financial crash, says IMF‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/oct/03/world-economy-at-risk-of-another-financial-crash-says-imf). So as we see: “Debt is above 2008 level and failure to reform banking system could trigger crisis“, we think that this is a small issue, but it is not, it is however not the real dangers, merely a larger factor. The quote “With global debt levels well above those at the time of the last crash in 2008, the risk remains that unregulated parts of the financial system could trigger a global panic, the Washington-based lender of last resort said” gets us a little closer to it all, yet it is the phrase ‘Washington-based lender of last resort’ that is a little more at the core of it all. This, or in a roundabout mention towards the US federal reserve is not the only part in this. It is the ECB with its quantative easing setting, now at 3.7 trillion, which in light of the Bloomberg article in 2017 (a year ago now) mentioning ‘Some ECB Members Identify 2.5 Trillion-Euro QE Limit‘ becomes a larger issue. With the US national debt at $21.5 trillion the ECB at an estimated €2.4 trillion bonds as per June ($2.7 trillion), we are going off the deep end soon enough. So as people were all in such a state that I was wrong, it would not happen again and that the economy is great. Consider that I warned about this danger several times between 2016 and the latest in May 2018 with ‘Milestones‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2018/05/05/milestones/). Yet all the parties are stating that I was wrong, and several hours ago, the Guardian treats us to: “The growth of global banks such as JP Morgan and the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China to a scale beyond that seen in 2008, leading to fears that they remain “too big to fail”, also registers on the IMF’s radar“. Yes, ‘too big to fail’, or should that be ‘to big too fail‘?

So when we see Gordon Brown getting quoted with: “former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown said last month that the world economy was “sleepwalking into a future crisis,” and risks were not being tackled now “we are in a leaderless world”“. I found his response slightly moronic as there is no leaderless world, there are merely elected officials who know that they are merely in temp positions and they are paving the way for really nice paid futures. There is a distinct difference there. And in that I am still modestly awaiting my honour degree from the London School of Economics, in a pinch one from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania will do too.

So when we see both “Christine Lagarde was concerned that the total value of global debt, in both the public and private sectors, has rocketed by 60% in the decade since the financial crisis to reach an all-time high of $182tn“, as well as “the build-up made developing world governments and companies more vulnerable to higher US interest rates, which could trigger a flight of funds and destabilise their economies. “This should serve as a wake-up call,” she said“. My response will be: “No Christine, you are wrong! The entire setting of a wake-up call is already 3-4 years too late. You have been unable to nurture the ECB, keep governments awake to get spending under control and the fallout will be huge and the people get to pay for it all“. The one benefit is that too large a population will be going through two depressions wiping out all their savings soon enough and in that there is an actual chance of a new civil war that would spread all over Europe. At that point the life of any politician will be £0.02 at best, once that starts, there will be not merely a Brexit, it will herald the end of the EU and it will impact the US in a most disastrous path, not merely wiping economies out, there will be a lack of trust between the US and the EU that will surpass the distrust levels between the USA and CCCP at the height of the cold war. It will redraw global economic maps to the larger degree. That is also seen in the part when we recollect the June 23rd article called ‘They are still lying to us‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2018/06/23/they-are-still-lying-to-us/). There we were treated to “Greece is once again becoming a normal country, regaining its political and financial independence“, remember that part? So how normal is that country as we are treated to ‘Greek Bank Stocks Tumble Amid Concerns Over Capital, Bad Loans’ by the Wall Street Journal a mere 8 hours ago? So when we see “Investors appear to have completely lost confidence in Greek banks,” economists at HSBC said in a research note. The four main banks— National Bank of Greece, Alpha Bank, Eurobank Ergasias and Piraeus Bank—recently submitted ambitious plans to rid themselves of more than half of their soured loans by 2021 to the banking-supervision unit of the European Central Bank, several bank officials said. Under the new plans, which the ECB is considering, the banks would commit themselves to reduce their nonperforming loans to 15%-21% of their total loans, compared with today’s levels of 40.7%-54.7%“. the article (at https://www.wsj.com/articles/greek-bank-stocks-tumble-amid-concerns-over-capital-bad-loans-1538584978) gives us a lot more, but it shows that the banks are trying to shed the bad loans in as creative ways as possible and in this the governments are as I personally see it part of the problem, they were never part of any solution and the people will get to pay for it all as they were treated last quarter to: “as elderly Greeks face losing up to €350 ($416) per month when new pension cuts are implemented as of Jan. 1, 2019“, I believe that as the Greek banks collapse to the larger degree, as the Greek banks are shedding over 50% of outstanding loans, their value would also collapse as will their prospects and the loss of confidence will only increase the pressures. All whilst payments will still be due and cannot be met as it is staged to be at present. So there is a chance that Greeks will lose 50% more than they are currently losing at present in the next quarter, so we will see that the Greeks will start the year in utter poverty and the rest of Europe is not far behind. The ECB with its badly conceived QE plan has achieved that, so when the people are given that danger and handed the loss of retirement funds, utter rage will not be far away after that.

It was one of the reasons why I kept close eyes on Salini Impregilo. Even as Europe is going proverbially down the drain Salini Impregilo has been making headway on a global scale, foremost in Saudi Arabia and as their projects are kicking off, the infrastructure needs for Saudi Arabia grow. Their needs for dash boarding, reporting and data analytics will rise over the next two years and will require more and more knowledge and infrastructure with any additional building they are assigned. The entire project of the King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD) drew it even further to the foreground, merely because the required concrete levels that can be delivered seem to be at 30%-40% of what is required soon enough. It is an opportunity for Saudi Arabia and the UAE, but also optionally for Egypt. All these shortages ignored for now, yet when we see the image from 2012 and what was required then, and we consider that Neom will require close to 15 times that, where will the concrete come from? And it is not merely the availability; it will be about the proper planning of resources. Even as Salini Impregilo is merely a larger player of several projects, they in the end all need their concrete and where will that come from? So at this rate I expect to see the delays making the forefront news from 2020 onwards. Even as some places are increasing as much as they can afford. I expect it to fall short by a larger degree soon enough and when we are introduced to the heart of the matter. Smart cities will need smart infrastructure and the wiring will be well over 20 times what the entire Boeing 787 Dreamliner fleet required and that is a lot. the skills, the training to get the amount of people fuelling this is short on every level as I see it, so as Europe collapses with the debt, Saudi Arabia gets the option to buy staff cheaply soon enough. No merely getting the knowledge they need. Yet the brain drain to that extent has never been seen before anywhere in the world and that is where the ECB will suddenly realise that the fuel required to fix any acts of stupidity in the last 10 years will no longer be available and at that point Wall Street will wake up getting to live the perfect nightmare. It is not merely that there will suddenly be a boost of economy because there is no unemployment, getting the people trained up will take decades, stopping economic growth right quick and for much too long.

And as other players open up the doors for a guaranteed decent lifestyle, the setting is changing. We see that in the European Pensions last July, a mere 2 months ago when we were given: “European pension schemes are becoming increasingly attracted to the high returns and diversification benefits offered by frontier markets” This is the setting of: ‘more developed than the least developing countries, but too small to be generally considered an emerging market‘, yet as the high returns are estimated, the risks are also higher and there seems to be the risk ‘risk premiums are more greatly affected by political, economic, and financial factors‘ that is seemingly ignored to a larger extent. We see that part when we consider both “MSCI Frontier Market Index is the most widely used benchmark for equities. However, even this is highly concentrated in certain markets and sectors – financial stocks make up 46 per cent and the top three countries make up 53 per cent“, as well as “Argentina, which makes up around 22 per cent of the index, and Vietnam, 15 per cent“. So, now consider that the very same Christine Lagarde treats us to: “The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has agreed to increase a lending package with Argentina by 7.1 billion US dollars (£5.3 billion), seeking to calm markets over the country’s ability to meet its debt amid growing economic turmoil” a mere week ago. Do you still think that I was kidding or merely trying to kick the dead donkey? I am not stating that this is the fault of Argentina. I am speculating that too many parts of Wall Street are banking on the failure of others and it opposes the setting of returns on those seeking success, in this setting the pensions will lose, optionally they will lose every time without fail and the people are left with an empty bag not worth the price of that empty bag. Do you think that people will sit down and accept that? No, they will be beyond furious and the setting of Johan de Witt and Cornelis de Witt blamed and lynched in The Hague, the rioters were never prosecuted. So, there will be enough motivation on more than one level. It is something for the current European politicians to keep in mind, because this could happen again and the setting that the people face over the next 10 years is a lot worse than the ones that the population faced then. At that point, when this starts, I truly hope that those politicians will have the option of a quick getaway out of Europe, because they will not know safety ever again in that place.

So whilst we see the distancing of politicians on all fields whilst trying to drench themselves in non-accountability, whilst they will try the path of ‘It was a miscommunication and we were given the wrong advice‘, the people will no longer accept that as the evening news. They will want their pound of flesh and a bucket of blood and the regard of the value of politicians at that point will have been degraded to zero, and their ‘post life’ Facebook profile image might optionally look similar to the painting of the brothers De Witt as it was in 1672. You might think that it is mere speculation and it is, yet the trigger is not my speculation, it is the message of economic crises after economic crises as the governments are not acting against the banks and the exploiters that hide behind ‘too big to fail‘. The people all over Europe, if not on a global setting as they are mistreated to overly optimistic futures that cannot be met and have not been met for over a decade, you see, if that was actually true debts would have been receding, would they not? The only ones that did that harshly were the Germans and they are indeed in a much better place. It is the difference between being popular and doing what needs to be done and in that Angela Merkel was not about being popular, yet now those Germans are in a much better place than most other nations. It is something for you to consider as you notice your pension is gone and you want to take it out on someone.

so whilst we consider the final line in the Guardian, which was: “Without a rise in investment economies remain vulnerable to financial stress“, we need to consider that the setting is not merely about ‘investment economies‘, it is about the setting where large corporations come in and use that setting to ‘invest’ whilst draining away the gained momentum, so the economy that once was in that stage has been drained and those momentum profits are relocated to other places where ever those boards of directors are fuelling their personal wealth accounts, leaving those nations in a post investment era that is now merely regarded as a consumer fuelled economy whilst those people never gained the better economic standing to spend the money fuelling it further.

A setting where the equilibrium of economics fails as there was never a state of balance, merely a stage of relocating available wealth and the frontier markets are no help, they are merely an optional stage not unlike the CDO issues of 2008, in my view a way to avoid taxation and move whatever they could to a non-reporting nation. Or as one source stated: “the smarter operators no longer use filthy lucre but instead employ modern financial devices such as Interest Rate Swaps (IRS) and Total Return Swaps (TRS) to evade tax“, a setting where some take a 4% loss to avoid 26% taxation, it still wins them 22% and many had to live of a bonus a lot more shallow then that and from a base amount massively smaller than the one moved away.

One crises a day, I wonder what the bad news we will get treated to next week.

#HappyWorldAnimalDay

 

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Democracy is dead

If there is one thing that the UK situation showed is the mere fact that not only is democracy dead, the question becomes has it even existed in the last 10 years? The fact that bullying and harassment are now the core uses of the media in facilitation towards power players (not even the political players) is at the heart of it all.

What started as an actual discussion became a trodden lane of smear campaigns and misstated innuendo. In the end a golden cage is still a prison, no matter how you slice it and even as the UK is all over the place, I do hope that they realise that they are about to become part of an additional 3 trillion in debt. The part that the media has refused to look into for the longest of times, the mindless spending by Mario Draghi and now a mere two hours ago we are confronted with “some economists argue that rapid technological development keeps a lid on prices, forcing central banks to exhaust their firepower fighting an economic paradigm shift, and leaving them with few tools for the next downturn“.

How does that relate?

Part of an issue I mentioned yesterday was (source: CNN) “Europe’s third biggest economy has suffered years of anaemic growth, high unemployment and budget deficits, while neighbours such as Germany and the U.K. have enjoyed a stronger recovery from the global financial crisis” at present the forecast is that the economy will rise by 0.2% less, giving a setting that is close to stagnant. In addition, even with the news from yesterday, we also now see: “Italian Economy Minister Giovanni Tria is pushing the parties in the governing coalition to keep next year’s budget deficit below 2 percent of output, sources close to the dossier said on Monday, lower than the party leaders have indicated so far“, as well as the part I mentioned last week as the article (at https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-europe-view-friday/daily-briefing-italian-debt-yields-get-stretched-idUKKCN1LG0T2) was giving me “Fitch is due to provide the latest evaluation of Italy’s creditworthiness with national debt standing at 130 percent of GDP. The Italian-German bond yield spread is already at its highest since 2013 – a downgrade will widen it further and make Italy’s borrowing even more expensive“, there was an overall loss of faith, yet we are now treated to ““The actual rating wasn’t lowered, and anyone who follows Italy closely will know that a lowered outlook for the future should be taken with a grain of salt because so much of the political situation can change so quickly,” Alessandro Polli, an economic statistics researcher with Rome’s La Sapienza University” and when we add Bloomberg (at https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-09-03/italian-bonds-get-a-respite-as-fitch-affirms-credit-rating) with: “Basically the politician with the greatest clout is saying Italy will remain within the 3 percent deficit band“, which is not only 1% deficit more, it is also an initial indication (indication mind you) that the 2% deficit marker is now more and more likely not the be a feasible one. But in all this, it would all rely on Germany and now we see the play, the EU and ECB are desperate to thwart UK democracy, because without it there is no euro, no Eurozone and no options remain and big business is willing to betray 65 million people to keep their cushy 7-8 figure income jobs, they are willing to do that at the drop of a hat, any hat.

The political players let the media be the facilitator for big business, first the banks, then tech companies and now the car industry. One by one fear mongering until the people got too scared and according to the Independent, 2.6 million people jumped ship and decided the swim to remain. So the new UK lyrics become ‘Ruled Brittannia, Brittania is the bitch! We shall never never ever trust in Fitch‘.

We get that to the setting of ‘Fitch ratings review gives reprieve to Italian govt bond yields‘ (source: Reuters). It is seen with: “Italian bond yields edged lower on Monday after Fitch left its credit rating unchanged at BBB, revising only its outlook to negative, though mixed news flow from senior ministers and manufacturing PMI data due later this morning could mean the rally is short-lived, analysts said” where we need to focus on ‘manufacturing PMI data due later this morning‘ which gives me that the rating was done ‘just in time‘ to avoid having to lower it, which implies to me that it was not a reprieve, merely the application of time management to force an upped rating. In that regards, when we see that and the UK realise that the EU barge cannot be stable, not with only one solid anchor, we get to see the equation where the UK becomes the force anchor to keep the EU dinghy from sinking on the spot. So as the industry will see ‘assurances’ of their value protection from the ECB. You see when we look at Section 9.4.5 of Part II of the AnaCredit Reporting Manual (this is about to become a massive leap of speculation on my side), we get to see:

If the appraisal aims to estimate the spot value taking into consideration market conditions, then “market value” is reported; on the other hand if the appraisal aims to estimate the market value ignoring cyclical factors, then “long-term sustainable value” is reported

Now consider that the UK is in Brexit and the Italian economy is rated down, when we now consider “APP holdings, Purchases of marketable debt instruments increase the Euro system holdings of such instruments and inject liquidity into the banking system“, we would see that under those conditions the entire ‘expanded asset purchase programme‘ would have to stop as per immediately and that is what the members of the ECB do not want to do, no matter how useless their exercise is and still seems to be regarded as (by critical outside minds). As I personally see it, the reported net acquisition of €24 billion a month, will need to stop before the current held holdings of €2.51 trillion might end up being regarded as dumped value, the setting of a ‘bad mortgage’ write-off. And do you think that this bad ‘mortgage’ is suddenly whisked away? Nope the outstanding amount becomes a taxpayer’s debt to deal with and without the UK the other players get a nightmare amount to deal with and that is what none of the 27 members want.

Now in all this I will be accused of comparing apples to oranges and that would be correct, yet what those people are (intentionally) forget to mention of illuminate that the ECB is a fruit vendor in all this. They are not the apple sales person or the banana (republic) sales vendor. In all this the ECB does not get to compartmentalise any of it. They bought 3,000,000,000 barrels of fruit at €1,000 each, so when some of these barrels contains rotten fruit, it becomes their loss, not the salesperson who they bought it from and as the barrels were unattended for the longest of times, more barrels and larger portions of every barrel become infected increasing loss over time to amounts too large to even contemplate. So, when the Italian shipper and the French shipper state: You bought it, it’s yours now; they will have no defence. In this it is the British supermarket that they need to buy some of these worthless goods or they go belly up and that is what they deserved in all this.

They should have sold the stock a year ago and stop purchasing those barrels of fruit and they are still buying junk fruit. And when we were treated to the earlier mentioned ‘manufacturing PMI data‘, when we see that it was reported down from 51.50 to 50.10, in the setting where highest was 59.00 and lowest was 48.00. So when we see the Trading Economics report and when we focus on that part and see the statement: “The reading pointed to the weakest pace of expansion in the manufacturing sector since a contraction in August 2016, as new orders fell for the first time in two years and output posted the first decline in over three years. In addition, employment growth was the weakest recorded in nearly two years and expectations slumped to the lowest since May 2013 amid concerns over future global trading conditions, particularly in relation to the US” is there any doubt on orchestration? This was done to stretch the game, not truly act on the reported value, if that was done the setting of ‘BBB’ could not have been maintained, it should have been dropped to ‘BBB-‘ (my speculated view). So whilst we think we are being told the truth, in my personal opinion, we are sold a bag of goods, because that is how the game is players and we are all being duped, just like in 2008, I would have thought that those players had learned their lesson, but apparently they did not and I truly believe that the UK needs to get out before that tidal wave hits them. When it does and they were still in that boat, they get to lose it, to drown just like the other players. So if all else fails, I hope that those players grow a set of gills, because they will need them and right quick at that point.

All this wheeling and dealing gives me the impression that the people are merely offer the choice between poor and destitute, I wonder if any of them can tell the difference from this point onwards. Oh, and if you think that I am kidding there, consider Greece that is under all that oversight. And only 12 hours ago, the Greeks decided to strand all the tourists on a strike. so as we see “Members of the union are reportedly seeking a 5 per cent increase for ferry crews, a request which they claim is long overdue as pay has remained static for eight years“, which now has two impacts. The first is that “affect around 180,000 people who have booked travel to and from some of Greece’s most popular tourist destinations“, who will optionally infect another 600,000 tourists not to consider Greece in 2019. In addition the fact that those people are demanding an additional 5%, because ‘pay has remained static for eight years‘, then those Greeks better wake up, because static incomes will be the cornerstone of their life for perhaps another 15 years. that is the long term effect of austerity, that is the impact of that massive a debt, so tax breaks are basically a thing of the past for them and the UK is still steering to a similar setting, that €3 trillion will make of that very clearly and it will over time affect all 27 member states to some degree, likely to Germany the most. In this, the Politician and environmentalist Nikos Chrysogelos has even more to deal with. the man is correct on all counts, yet until the Greeks are willing to strangle these dangers by installing Singaporean like methods (like a €500 fine for any environmental transgression) the tourists (and to some degree the people) will not change and the Greek islands will transform into an open sewer soon enough.

These are all issues that will impact the citizens of other member nations in some form or another; the impact of long term austerity and short term thinking. It will be about “some sustainable model of tourism” soon enough, but that also implies one thing. It implies that people will still be able to afford a vacation, because that group is actually shrinking and the economic upset that Europeans are currently facing makes that issue a non-option to at least some degree. That evidence was seen earlier with ‘forcing central banks to exhaust their firepower‘, so when that stagnation shifts to downturn the economic hurt will be on all over Western Europe and the ECB will have 1-2 options reserved for themselves and their ‘friends’; and the people in Europe? Well, who cared about them anyway?

So in all it is not merely the economy for the now in all this. The setting is also the backwash from the consequences we see in Saudi Arabia. Canada, Sweden and Germany are all losing business in Saudi Arabia. Let’s be honest, we see that Iran is their enemy; we see that there is more and more evidence that Iran is facilitating missiles for Yemen, who are then fired on Riyadh. All this whilst the EC nations are bending over backwards to keep a nuclear deal alive that is quite honestly not worth the paper it was printed on and they expect to rake in billions in Saudi Arabia as well, whilst criticising Saudi Arabia at almost every turn. So as I am contemplated (read fantasising) on “an $11 billion arms deal between Saudi Arabia and Canada may be scrapped“; and how I could optionally sell that deal to a few alternative players (for a 1% commission). Whilst at the same time we see the quote “To German news outlet Der Spiegel, an unidentified businessman said, “For Germans, the doors in Riyadh have suddenly been closed” here I see a few non-European options as well (the 1% commission still applies) and when I see “Saudi Arabia is Sweden’s fourth largest recipient of arms outside the EU with sale totals in 2014 reaching approximately $39 million“, I see an opportunity to consider talks to get that shifted to perhaps a ‘Northrop Grumman X-47A Pegasus‘ consideration and perhaps even more, once the abilities are confirmed. Of course for all the extra work I will be taking an additional 1% on top of the 1%, so in all this, the European Hypocrisy works well for me, providing that Wesley G. Bush is still taking my calls, or I will have to postpone that deal and start wining and dining Kathy Warden (at her expense, it is an emancipated world after all) and she might be hungry for the setting of an additional 200 million, especially as the doors to Sweden and Germany are closed. All economic settings that are clear to all and clearly visible to all, so in all that, how are we not seeing that there is an increasing realisation that economic stagnation is closer to mere millimetres away from an actual economic downturn.

All elements that will hit the UK one way or another, because if it took this little to get the economy down with the smallest of efforts on two EU nations by up to 1%, how unstable do you think that the EU economy was in the first place? You see, the ECB ‘forcing central banks to exhaust their firepower‘ is one without firepower and options, making it merely a logistic system administrating €3 trillion of debt. So how desperate do they need the UK and how dim sum is the view that being a ‘remain’ member will make their lives easier? When everyone around you says: ‘Stay with us, or else‘, how much does who need who in the end?

Consider the truth there, if it was such a bad deal for the UK and a good one for Europe, do you think that the bullying and harassment would have been this severe? Until the EU and the ECB stops facilitating for the large corporations, you need to realise that those ‘facilitating’ are merely ‘tools’ trying to get a ticket on the next gravy train and those rides always cost the taxpayer and most often way more than acceptable.

 

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As the car industry dies

Yes, today is the nicest day of the week. After the weekend, after all done, it is again Monday morning. So, happy, happy, joy, joy!

I am waking up with the news ‘Shaken-up Aston Martin hopes to stir investors with a public offering‘. When it comes to cars, the Aston Martin is about the coolest car in existence. I would favour it over the Jaguar XF, the Infiniti Q60, the Tesla Roadster (2020) and the Lexus LC500, yet to be honest, I cannot afford any of them.

Now, I have nothing against cars, by themselves they killed each other. It was too much about ego, all about status and too few about what mattered, to get safely from A to B. So even as I have nothing against cars, the setting of those behind them? Yes, that matters a great deal, and most of them fuelling each other, most of them pushing for more models, more options and all financed in a try before the debt phase. Just like the PC industry. Makers having a dozen models every year, the market just could not sustain it and it collapsed. The same is happening here now in a few ways. We will always have a few exotic members (like Aston Martin), or a brand that is unique because of the niche they choose (like Morris Mini Cooper). For some of them, there will always be a market, they are established. The Japanese market made a mess of close to everything and now we see an entirely different kind of fallout. So even as we are treated to the ‘threat’: “Japan’s ambassador has warned Japanese companies will quit the country if a botched Brexit hits profits“, it is not a vague threat, but overall that does not matter and it has absolutely nothing to do with Brexit. You see, I discussed this in February 2014 when the Australians got confronted with ‘The last Australian car‘. Here we see: “The world’s largest car maker announced it would stop building cars in Australia by the end of 2017 and would operate in this country only as a sales and distribution company. One additional factor needs to be told, which will have bearing down the road. Namely “Toyota is Australia’s biggest vehicle exporter with around 70,000 of the 100,000-plus cars it builds here being sold in foreign markets”“. What is even more upsetting is the part that Business Insider gave with it and my response to it in the article (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2014/02/12/the-last-australian-car/) “The car industry is estimated to have received a total of $12 billion in direct subsidies and protections over the past 20 years, including $1.8 billion to Holden in the 11 years to 2012.” is at the heart of this. So basically, 4 car makers have enjoyed an annual $600 million in subsidies a year. This is so off the wall it is not even funny!” In addition, the Australian, via Judith Sloan gave us the overall view: “Australia has subsidised almost $1900 per vehicle produced. If we take that and we add the initial quote I mentioned “Toyota is Australia’s biggest vehicle exporter with around 70,000 of the 100,000-plus cars it builds here being sold in foreign markets” leaves me with the question whether we have been sponsoring that part too“. So here is the crux. This is not about mere profits; this is about subsidies and what I personally see as legalised slave labour. This is about maximised potential without accountability or taxation. In all this, let them move away, let other nations subsidise it all and when their coffers are empty, we will see another ‘Cars from Japan’ setting soon enough. From my point of view, let them move out and lose 65 million potential consumers. When those wells dry up, when they see that the free ride is over, they will suddenly offer some price package, or is that prize package?

The nice part is when those brands fall away; we will see a revitalisation of other brands, those who will grow inside the UK. It might be a harsh reality, but it is a reality none the less. Will consumers miss out? I do not know, their ego’s might, but in the end, if a decent affordable car gets you from A to B, does it matter? This goes beyond the British car brands and who owns then nowadays, Morgan is seemingly the only one still in British hands, but again a niche market. So if the Japanese walk away and Daewoo and Kia walk in, would that be such a hard thing? Then there is China and India. They might actually like having a much better spot in the UK car industry. Many brands left life over time, all killed by the subsidised markets and drowned by subsidised cheap options. Who even remembers the Dutch brand DAF, or the German brand NSU? We have options, there are opportunities and the bottom dollar that japan wants needs to be barred. In all that, the only acceptable conflicts were the ones that Honda and BMW offered, which are about customs delays. I believe that to be the valid part and for the most, it is not merely about custom deals. It is about the EU trying to pressure into a another vote, trying to get Brexit killed, because Europe has no actual solution for the debt now moving towards 3 trillion Euro that Mario Draghi created. Now with the Italian economy is an approaching freefall, unsurmountable debts, Greece still in a bad spot, Europe cannot survive without the UK, now that France is also lowering expectations via: “The French government has revised its growth forecast for 2019 downwards to 1.7 percent from 1.9 percent, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe told the Journal du Dimanche” also implies that the Economy is not really moving forward, creating a setting that the debts of Europe are becoming a much larger issue. All those interests, when they come due there will be no infrastructure. That is the setting and the 1500 voices in charge of all that money are seemingly now scaring 15,000 politicians into pressuring others, because their life of well-being is about to end and someone must pay for their way of life.

That is the setting that is behind the cars, not merely the cars, but when you realise that your taxes were funding cheaper build cars, please show me where you signed up for that part of the equation. You cannot, can you?

I do agree with Dr Paul Nieuwenhuis of Cardiff University. He is correct Aston Martin is making a move at the right time, and when the economy truly picks up, their fortune is set for close to two generations. They are in a niche, but one with a good margin and with the growing of millionaires all over the place, they are also creating demand, because getting seen in the 007 choice of wheels does count (as your ego is able to foot that bill) even as the car looks supercool regardless. And when you consider the quote: “Issues such as Brexit are quite different for Aston compared with mainstream manufacturers because it is not as reliant on the EU for sales as the volume producers“, when you consider transport and other elements, why were they in the UK anyway? With these brands margins were always the case, for well over a decade, so in all that, why were they here? Is the reason merely because there were 65 million optional consumers in the UK or because the EU was all about big business, and a lot less about the people living there? Well, that was a rhetorical question, because Reuters in 2016 gave us:  “Compensating carmakers in Britain for any post-Brexit tariffs on exports to Europe could see the government hand the companies more money than they need to pay the salaries of all their British workers, a Reuters analysis of corporate filings shows“, that was exactly the image that we saw in Australia and there is the crux, what is the use of having a company in the UK, when we see that the UK government is paying for the wages? Where was that ever a solution? A flawed presented image on the presentation of great industrial UK revenue whilst hiding some of the costs?

So many questions and in the end, merely a drain on the coffers, so let them leave, let them move to Germany (Mercedes & BMW will love that), or France (at the loving side of Citroen, Peugeot and Renault). So when the subsidies are demanded, will those local brands even accept that? I wonder how long until they move back east and let the reality of the cost of manufacturing hit these players full on. I wonder how many brands will still be around in 5-10 years. A lot less that seems almost certain, but that is pure speculation on my side.

 

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Merely a week ago

It has been eight days since ‘A haircut before the guillotine‘, which can be found at https://lawlordtobe.com/2018/08/21/a-haircut-before-the-guillotine/. The article dealt like the one ABC gave us all about Greece and I think that it is nice that they finally came to the same conclusions, it only took them a week. Yet, the part that I never looked at (before now) s the part that ABC is giving. It is the setting that Italy is the most likely next country to add the fuel of life after the Euro. When we are treated to: “The warning signs are gathering: Government borrowing stands at 130 per cent of GDP, and bond yields have been rising, a sign of low confidence by financial markets which will make it more difficult for Rome to raise money by selling long-term sovereign debt“, yet unlike Greece and other players, they really do not have that much of faith in that muzzle called the EU and the ECB. The less popular and growing situation is offered with “it is also filled with ministers who are deeply distrustful of European institutions and regularly raise the possibility of pulling Italy out of the EU“, something Greece should have considered. In the setting where the Italians can float their currency during the seasons and get a much better return, lowering debt slightly faster is an option, one that is currently being discussed in Rome. What is also a setting is that Italy now has an example on when things go pear shaped, an advantage that Greece did not have. After that, ABC, of better stated Anne Bagamery gives us “many European analysts draw a straight line from the rise of Euroscepticism and nationalism generally — trends that led directly to Britain’s vote to leave the European Union next year — to the Greek bailout and other, similar rescue plans that followed the 2008 world financial crisis“. That is likely to be true, but the element that she ignores is that Mario Draghi was also a factor. What is more and more seen as a reckless, wrecking action by a second jumpstart to the economy, one that is still failing, but now the European members are well over 2.5 trillion Euro deeper in debt, so how is that playing out?

I am still of the mind that Mario Draghi and his membership into the elite 30 bank clubs enabled them to deals and advantages that are ethically an issue, perhaps even legally so. Yet there is no intervention, no investigation and in the end, the interest on 2.5 trillion dollars will have to go somewhere, does it not?

Then we get two sides, the first one is one I agree with. With: “Ms Merkel, at the time the most powerful head of government on the continent, pushed the notion that forcing the kind of budgetary discipline that had worked in Germany was the best way to bring spendthrift countries into line. A fervent European, Ms Merkel also felt austerity was the best way to preserve both the EU and the euro” we see a harsh reality, but when you look at Germany, their debt is way down (compared to what it was) and as such a few billion euros each year gets to be spend on infrastructure and not on interest payments, so that is a clear sign. In opposition we see: “Pierre Moscovici, the European commissioner for economic affairs, acknowledged in an interview last year with the Italian daily Corriere della Sera that the handling of Greece’s bailout program was “a scandal in terms of democratic processes”“.

That might optionally be the case, but how far was the democratic path used to misrepresent the numbers, cooking the books and fraudulently give rise to economic levels that never existed? How many of those Greek cooks actually were prosecuted and ended in prison? Show me that list please Pierre Moscovici, can you?

Now we get to the BS of the part and it is seen in “Economists have now had plenty of time to evaluate whether the decision to impose austerity measures was the wisest course — and, for the most part, the verdict is negative”. Is that so? You see, I stated that in 2013 and several economists stated that I did not have an economy degree (which is true) and as such, I could never comprehend the ‘complexities’ of such macroeconomics. they optionally had a point, was it not that my version and my calculations using my fingers and an abacus gave a result that was merely a year away from their results and I published mine 5 years ago, so in all that, it seems that these economical ‘experts’ are seemingly more about the preservation of the gravy train that they are on and a lot less on finding the setting of resolution that they were supposed to have and now that Italy is on the iExit path (or was that ILeave?), we see that ‘the verdict is negative‘ part, I reckon merely 5 years late in light of the degrees they have.

Finally we need to stop at the setting we see regarding Portugal. With the quote “Joao Borges de Assuncao, a professor at the Catolica Lisbon School of Business and Economics and a former economic adviser to the Portuguese government, said recently that Portugal’s recovery only really started when it ended austerity measures and invested in job creation to keep growth alive“. I cannot completely agree, even if that was a partial correct setting for Portugal. A setting when we consider that Portugal has a population of 11.2 million, about the size of Sweden, a mere 25% of Spain. In addition, Portugal got lucky with their cork. It supplies 50% of the global needs and that gives them a huge niche market and until China starts growing their cork forests in a serious way, Portugal will have an advantage there. In addition Portugal has a similar advantage with tungsten and lithium, with lithium battery needs at an all-time high, and unlikely to slow down for now, we see that 75% is in South America, meaning that Portugal cannot rely on their amounts, but it still makes for a nice additional sandwich with what they offer. All elements that they have and plenty of other European players do not, so Portugal has a small advantage, which is why I oppose the view of Joao Borges de Assuncao, not because the view is wrong, but in the current available options, with a much smaller population there is a benefit for Portugal and that is why the investments required would have been significantly lower, whilst the ROI would have been much easier to achieve. What works for Portugal is not likely to work in Spain and Italy to the degree it needs to, not whilst the Italian population is 600% of Portugal. The sales amount of Maserati’s and Ducati’s needed to offset that difference is slightly more than realistically possible.

I expected for the longest time that there was a much larger issue within Europe, no matter how ideological the setting was, the setting of a push for big business to get the exploitative advantage over small companies was too visible and now we see those same companies giving the UK such hassle. I wonder when the UK economy picks up and those players are learning that they are missing out on 68 million consumers, I wonder what marketing scheme they will try to get back into favour with those they tried to strongarm initially. We merely have to look at the Galileo satellite navigation system, and the setting that we see now to learn that the easiest option is to merely block the Galileo from accessing that part, which the UK would be allowed to do. When we see the setting of people using their car abroad (UK in EU vs EU in UK) we see that this stage will hurt the EU a lot more, and even as we see the need for a UK satnav system, the UK one will come, 68 million people implies 30 million cars in the very least and plenty of people are relying on the satnav, so the ones who have that in good order will have access to those consumers, in addition, as we might overlook the entire ‘due to be launched in 2020 with civilian and military variants, and requires 24 satellites in orbit to be operational‘, for the UK 2-3 is all that is required, so a national market whilst those satellites would also be able to provide media and other options, will benefit the UK greatly, that whilst most people are ‘kept’ in the dark regarding both “The Galileo system went live in December last year, providing initial services with a weak signal, having taken 17 years at more than triple the original budget“, as well as “The main causes of the malfunctions have been identified and measures have been put in place to reduce the possibility of further malfunctions of the satellites already in space” commission spokeswoman Lucia Caudet said.

ESA found after an investigation that its rubidium clocks had a faulty component that could cause a short circuit, according to European sources”, so even at 300% of the original costs, they still weren’t able to properly test the systems and the faulty components are an excellent piece of evidence. The fact that the EU has the larger setting of budget overrides on several grounds and when we consider the fact that when infrastructures and facilities take well over 300% of initially projected costs, we see a failing on too large a scale and no proper penalty setting is in place and is unlikely to ever get there. The UK has had its massive bungles too, but even in the national setting it would never have been to the degree that we see here. In addition, when we are treated to the setting of a project that some state costed 30 billion, for 30 satellites, the most simple of all calculations (admitting that they might be way off) is telling me that the pricing is incorrect from the very beginning. We can agree to a quote that is up in the air in several sources. When we see “It is estimated that a single satellite launch can range in cost from a low of about $50 million to a high of about $400 million“, I am willing to believe that, yet, when we see the application of 30 satellites, we see the need of a much larger scope of electronics, verification and channels, all this implies that such a setting should require multiple safeguards, and let’s not forget that all this was merely about the launch, so the hundreds of engineers, designers, programmers and testers are also part of those costs, the electronics that were designed, developed and build will take even more resources, so here I am in a setting where the lowest estimate is close to 1.3 billion each, and I am willing to accept that I lack plenty of knowledge, so even as I expected the cost to be closer to 15 billion, the fact that my estimate was 50% higher and still 100% short of the actual costs gives us the setting that the entire Galileo project was wrongly priced, wrongly designed and in the end still flawed.

Galileo satellite navigation system has a few more issues, flaws and weaknesses. That part was shown 12 years ago (at http://news.cornell.edu/stories/2006/07/cornell-sleuths-crack-secret-codes-europes-galileo-satellite) where we are treated to ““We were told that cracking the encryption of creative content, like music or a movie, is illegal, but the encryption used by a navigation signal is fair game,” said Psiaki. The upshot: The Europeans cannot copyright basic data about the physical world, even if the data are coming from a satellite that they built“, so 12 years ago basic ‘protection’ was negated by students, so in the end, this extremely expensive project, just how secure is it, and once we learn that even as it is really really hard to hack it, what happens, when we see the system being readjusted through a hack causing time clock issues? When that happens and inter satellite group messaging is no longer reliable or valid, how long until that system crashes itself from within? It might not seem to be hackable, but the satellites rely on an uplink and a downlink, once the element is there to cause clear miscommunication from the source towards the satellite, forcing a sequence of reboots might be enough to take alignment of these satellites away from one another, and in the end, the mess that this will cost? I wonder just how much the makers did not perceive from a system that had a negated security system for the better part of 12 years. I wonder what happens when they get the option to ask each satellite for a verification protocol from each of the other satellites. Do that for an hour and how many users will be confronted with the setting when they drive home and the SAT navigator tells them: “This location does not exist“.

When we get to that part, I wonder who in the EU will be suddenly on sick leave and cut all ties from a project that has already been projected as more than 300% more expensive. When we dig into that part what else will we find?

That is merely one of many settings that was shown in a whole host of EU applicable operations and in all that Italy has their options too, whether the decide to leave the EU cannot be predicted to any near decency, but in that, when we see that the Italians are equally barred from Galileo, we will see another part where the EU will have to pay back at least two nations for their part, how will that end?

I will let you decide that, just make sure you know how to drive home and do not rely on your satnav to the degree you expected it to be useful, on how far the Italian High Speed rail from Berlin to Palermo is when the ties are announced to be cut, because that too will impact the EU in a much larger part then expected. In that regard, how many people would have ever needed the train to get to Palermo anyway, is that not an interesting question? When we are confronted with “The cost of EU infrastructure development needs in order to match the demand for transport has been estimated at over €1.5 trillion for the period 2010-2030” and we realise that Palermo has 1.2 million people, so it is a sizeable city, but let’s be honest, spending 1.5 trillion to get there, what was Europe thinking?

When we take the accounts and the pulse of such investments, whilst the ROI will never ever be achieved (not even close), how much more wasteful spending is this EU throwing on people and their additional taxation?

Remember, you must repay what they have been spending and they have been spending a lot with the additional costs of all these gravy trains, so how much out of pocket will you and those around you be for the rest of your life?

 

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A haircut before the guillotine

That is how we sometimes see life. We are all dressed up, all ready, smooth shave and a decent look, all on route to the main event where we are the guest of honour at a dinner party hosted by Joseph-Ignace Guillotin. Yes, we are the person on the chopping block. When death is all you look forward to, the way getting there will mean the most to anyone.

So out comes the master of coiffure, to make sure that the shave and the haircut were done to levels of excellence that you never considered before. Master tailor Marc de Luca will come and see you to make sure that the suit is one that Versace will look at with utter envy, the people on Saville Row will look with utter amazement on just how perfect a suit can be, because you must look your best on route to that once in a life time dinner party with Joseph-Ignace Guillotin, all the elements mattered the most on this one day.

So there is the setting you see when we consider ‘EU says Greece can ‘finally turn the page’ as bailout ends‘. The article (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/aug/20/eu-greece-bailout-ends-pierre-moscovici) gives us “Greece has turned the page to become “a normal” member of the single currency“. Yes in that regard it is nice to know that a mental health setting of ignorance when it comes to the economy, is still riding high with too many individuals. I mentioned it over 3 years ago in the article ‘Dress rehearsal (part 1)‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2015/07/01/dress-rehearsal-part-1/), where I stated ““Greece would face an unsustainable level of debt by 2030 even if it signs up to the full package of tax and spending reforms demanded of it, according to unpublished documents compiled by its three main creditors“, the reason that I call it questionable, is because Greece is what I call a 3G nation, which means it will take three generations for this debt to become close to manageable. So, with that I imply that the debt is still a massive form of pressure in 2061, there is no escaping it“. That part we now see with “Greece has the highest government debt in the EU, 177% of gross domestic product, and is forecast to be repaying loans until 2060“. WOW! I was off by one year and that was me using my fingers and an abacus over three years ago. Now we see that it will be all done by 2060, which is actually not a certainty. I took a few setbacks in consideration that are likely to be missing here, so considering that this started 8 years ago, we see that in the end it will take another 42 years, making my ‘three generation‘ prediction spot on. Yet the good news is not yet done. When we consider that the debt is 177% of gross domestic product, the fact that youth unemployment remains at 43.6%, as well as a few setbacks, there is merely one stupid act of starting another bonds plan and it all goes south really really fast.

The first is that with “Athens will face more exacting checks than any other Eurozone member, so Brussels can monitor whether the government’s budgets are in line with EU stability and growth targets” Greece will still be bound by some factors. The setting is a given if Greece decided to try the Goldman Sachs strategy again, the future will start to look extremely dim again at that point, with little to no hope on resolving it ever. There will always be politicians that play the fast and loose card whenever they are in a pickle, which will soon thereafter become the ‘fast and lose‘ scenario, especially for the Greek population.

Even now we see the quote: “Many analysts believe it will take a decade before Greece returns to pre-crisis living standards following a slump in which its economy contracted by 25% and unemployment peaked at 28%“, I am not convinced that it will be that quick. It might be if serious investors can be found to pump up the Greek economy like a Google space, an Apple hub and an IBM data centre. Those steps will be a turn for the good for Greece, but without a really large player opening the field, Greece keeps on lagging behind and a decade will not be enough to set the economy back on track to the pre-crises degree stated. Furthermore, there is the consideration of “levels of extreme poverty jumped. The population has fallen by 3% because of emigration and a lower birth rate“, you see, the levels of extreme poverty also slows the recovery setting and the loss of population will not merely mean that there are less jobs required, it also means that a continuation of certain aspects can no longer happen. So the setting of parent to child implies that more and more businesses die over time lowering the GDP further, which in turn shoves the debt up by 5%-10% more than previous. So it is not the percentage, it is the €336,900,000,000 that is due its interest and that amount is not shifting merely due to the shifting GDP percentage. It is rising because 336 billion implies 6-9 billion euro of interest a year and with a population of less than 11 million, whilst we get the slightly over enthusiastic “By 2023 unemployment is forecast to fall to 14%“, yes, I’ll accept that when I see it. You see, last October it was 20.7 percent. This now give us that close to 2.5 million Greeks are not paying tax. So exactly how are they not merely getting the infrastructure paid for, but in addition to that pay for the 6-9 billion in annual interest? From my point of view the picture we are given is a rosy coloured setting of ‘Bull dung and grapes’, at which point the grapes are not that appetising anymore.

The final part is seen with “As a condition of getting debt relief, Athens agreed to the EU’s demand to run a budget surplus of 3.5% of GDP until 2022 and thereafter 2%. However, the International Monetary Fund, a co-funder of the bailouts, has long argued this goal is too onerous for a country that has endured years of belt-tightening“. That shows part of the imbalance, or merely the gross injustice to the Greek population. There is close to no way to live with the ‘a budget surplus of 3.5% of GDP until 2022‘, unless you cook the books that is, which is a purely personal speculated option. It merely seems more than an impossible task and agreeing towards demands that are unrealistic is just not acceptable and utterly inhumane.

Forbes is on my side in this. The article (at https://www.forbes.com/sites/francescoppola/2018/08/20/lessons-for-the-eurozone-from-the-greek-debt-crisis) gives us: “Fiscal austerity is on the menu for generations to come. Furthermore, if GDP takes a nosedive – as both business cycle theory and economic history tell us is almost certain to happen at some point during that time – further cuts will be necessary to meet primary surplus targets. In the light of this, the IMF has expressed serious reservation about the sustainability of Greek finances. If it is right, then the Greek crisis is not ended. It will be back with a vengeance in a decade or so“, I actually believe that ‘a decade or so‘, is a little optimistic. When we correct for Murphy (anything that can go wrong will go wrong), the tie line will shove the entire situation to the foreground by the year 2025.

The article is a really good read, mainly because it gives us in short the history on how it happened, which was essential in all this, because the danger of “in 2009 the Greek government lied about the true state of its finances, and that the pre-crisis boom had resulted in a fiscal deficit of 15% of GDP and debt/GDP of well over 100%” is a setting that is not unlikely to return in the 2023-2025 years, for a few reasons, especially when the Greeks are set in a stage of what is humanly called to be in a stage ‘without a pot to piss in‘. there will be overreactions and that is when things go from bad to worse and in that time, when there is still 35 years to go, a lot of people will re-enter new (read: even more harsh) levels of austerity.

So even when we think that the bailouts have ended, we also need to consider that this is academically correct, yet the truth is that we need to realise that in a little less than 16 months “the expensive debt to the International Monetary Fund, some 2.6 billion euros of which is due by the end of 2019” (source: Bloomberg), apart from the interest, posts like the maturing bonds come out to play and that is in this case well over 2.6 billion, also we need to consider ‘the interest Greece has to pay on bonds is still too high at about 4.2 percent‘, there we see that the additional pressures that Greece gets from refinancing all those bonds come at a huge cost. In addition to that part, we also need to notice ‘National Bank of Greece issued international bonds (XS1698932925) with a 2.75% coupon for EUR 750.0m maturing in 2020‘, so where will that money be coming from? We accept that seven hundred and fifty million Euros is not a lot when you say it fast, but in lieu of the outstanding debts, the budget surplus as well as bond maturities, all that whilst the economy is not on track and will not be anywhere near that in 2020, my prediction of a new stage of defaulting by 2025 might have been slightly too optimistic.

Personally I really hope that we can find a decent solution for Greece, a solution that allows for a growing economy because Greece is an awesome place and for the most Greeks are awesome (unless you’re German at that point you’re on your own). The good news is not there yet and I personally believe that some players are still stacking the cards in a way that suits them and not Greece. I am referring to the message: ‘S&P Global Ratings upgrades Foreign Currency LT credit rating of National Bank of Greece to “B-” from “CCC+”; outlook stable‘. It was given to the people on June 6th 2018. I personally do not believe it to be correct or better stated ‘justified’. Bloomberg gave us those goods an hour ago with: ‘Greek Bad Loans Are a Drag Even after Crisis Shrank Bank Sector‘. Basically an hour ago we were treated to “the problem she saw 12 years ago lingers on — Greece’s banks are still weighed down by bad loans. That’s making them cautious about new lending, which the country’s cratered economy needs to grow again after its European bailout ended on August 20th“. Basically hidden ghosts still rock the financial cadaver of Greece and there is more to come. Do you really think that ‘stable’ is the correct word? When we consider the S&P definitions we end up getting “An obligation rated ‘B’ is more vulnerable to non-payment than obligations rated ‘BB’, but the obligor currently has the capacity to meet its financial commitments on the obligation. Adverse business, financial, or economic conditions will likely impair the obligor’s capacity or willingness to meet its financial commitments on the obligation“, if the entire setting relies on ‘currently‘ I end up with the consideration that this could revert to a more negative stage by years end and then we see that the costs will increase whilst the maintenance of a budget surplus is close to a nil percent possibility at that point.

If we see that this is going on and the stage is set in several ways against Greece, who was the message ‘Greece can ‘finally turn the page’‘ for? Was it for the EU and European, was it for Greece (as an optional setting of false hope) or was this as the starting signal for Wall Street? In my mind the question becomes, who exactly was The European commissioner for economic and financial affairs, Pierre Moscovici catering for? Perhaps it is less complicated, perhaps he was merely acting as the maître des cérémonies for Joseph-Ignace Guillotin. To set the stage, where in the old days, executions by guillotine were a popular form of entertainment that attracted great crowds of spectators (their version of the Roman bread and games). Perhaps that is what is needed in Europe and for now the Greek government is unaware that their status has been elevated from underdog to the proverbial ‘guest of honour’.

Yet in all this, we need to be more then sceptical, there is much doubt and most of it based on common sense. We need to realise that the setting of Greece remains close to unacceptable, these levels of austerity will have to continue not for a decade, but for several decades, mainly because until the economy gets an actual boost, the options of budget surplus seem to be so unrealistic that whatever was signed was basically signed under duress. If the CIA and others stopped torturing a terrorist because the issue was too inhumane and the intelligence was never reliable, why would you transfer such levels of inhumane economic pressure to a European ally?

In the entire Greek economic setting that one part never ever made any sense to me.

 

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They are still lying to us

There is a piece that the Guardian gave us less than 12 hours ago. The title ‘Greece ‘turning a page’ as Eurozone agrees deal to end financial crisis‘ should worry you. You are getting played! The article (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jun/22/eurozone-greece-financial-crisis-deal) is giving a dangerous situation as it is downplayed on nearly every level. Now, to set the stage, we need to understand that government budgets are complex. No one is denying it. Yet, what is complex about: “Eurozone member states reached an agreement on the final elements of a plan to make its massive debt pile more manageable, ending an eight-year bailout programme“, can you tell me that? You see in the heart of this is ‘its massive debt pile more manageable‘, we all see that. Yet do we understand it?  €328 billion, the interest on that small sucker is well over €500 a second! The debt is around 180% of GDP, it was 178% last year. These are issues that matter, because it gives Greece no options. Then the Guardian gives us the bit that matters a lot more. You see, in part one we consider “The plan allows Greece to extend and defer repayments on part of its debt for another 10 years and gives Athens another €15bn (£13.2bn) in new credit. Tsakalotos said it marked “the end of the Greek crisis … I think Greece is turning a page.”“, so an option to get even MORE DEBT. When was that a good idea? Now consider that the interest on the current loan is €640 million a year, so how does raising the debt by 5% help? You see, we see the game played, because the next elections are 20 October 2019. This is the beginning of an election stunt and the Eurozone is happy to help only if the current government does what the Eurozone tells them to. How is that for an option?

The next pack of non-truths is given by PM Alexis Tsipras with “The prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, told a meeting of MPs: “Greece is once again becoming a normal country, regaining its political and financial independence.”” I hope you understand that financial independence will not happen until 2045. The debt is that severe. The banks are not willing to be soft any longer, when the access to the markets are given it will merely take one screw up, one act of short sighted stupidity and people all over Europe will rally to demand the barring of Greece from the markets for decades. So when we are presented within: “The plan allows Greece to extend and defer repayments on part of its debt for another 10 years and gives Athens another €15bn (£13.2bn) in new credit“, you see this is what the beginning of slave labour looks like, a debt that cannot be repaid, a setting where €15 billion is merely a smoke screen and the coming years when you think your life is getting better, the truth is merely that your options are taken away. That is how you enter into slave labour. And the Eurozone will be nice and humane about it, they will not call it slave labour, they will call it new zero hour contracts and with the definition “Any individual on a zero hours contract who is a ‘worker’ will be entitled to at least the National Minimum Wage, paid annual leave, rest breaks and protection from discrimination” and the Greeks will realise too late that this government AFTER its election will set the stage where because of the high debts the National Minimum Wage would optionally have to be lowered by 20%, until the debts are better dealt with. So there you are sitting on a terrace having your last pita gyros with an Ouzo realising that you can no longer afford to do that, your income got cut by 20%. The opposing party reacted to the credit buffer with ‘Kostis Hatzidakis said it reflected the lack of faith international creditors had in Athens’ ability to successfully return to capital markets.‘ And in this Kostis is right, the international markets have zero faith in their return, they rely on a small thing called mathematics and the clarity there is that the scales are not in the favour of the Greeks. The financial market is hailing the success, especially those making money of every trade, and until the money is gone, some parties on Wall Street will love the Greek, give parties in their honour. The parties behind this were shown in the NY Times last week (at https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/19/business/economy/greece-europe-bailout.html). Here we see “To play it safe, Greece won’t start selling bonds until well after it exits the bailout. Instead, the government, which is being advised by Paris-based Rothschild & Company, will pick a moment in the next two years when market conditions seem favourable. A cash buffer of up to €18 billion, funded by creditors, may help Greece secure the liquidity it needs in the meantime“, so now the credit makes a lot more sense, does it not? A credit to pay the bills until there is one more fish to cook for Wall Street ending the existence of Greece. Well, actually the Greek elected officials will do that all by themselves. Because it will be there choice (through whispers) that benefits could be gained through 10 year bonds giving 10 more years of relief. Yet those billions come at a cost, a 2% cost which goes to the traders, they will cash in millions at the expense of a few parties costing them mere thousands, after which they switch off their phones, walk away and it is no longer their problem. For them it was merely good business, the direct application of a mere fool and his money getting parted.

Yet, this is not the only part. In what I would regard to be a direct outright lie, we see the actions from Pierre Moscovici as we are treated to: “Greece had received €275bn in financial support from its international creditors over the past eight years and twice came perilously close to being kicked out of the Eurozone group, the EU commissioner, Pierre Moscovici, said, adding: “There have been enormous sacrifices. But at last Greece will be capable of moving on its own two feet.”“. This is what I personally see an outright lie! Let me explain why I think that this is as bad as such. The documentation gave us (I already published it before). It is a paper from 2009 from the ECB and I gave light to it in my article on July 1st 2015, yes, almost 3 years ago. The article was ‘Dress rehearsal (part 1)‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2015/07/01/dress-rehearsal-part-1/), the original paper is there at the end. It is called ‘Withdrawal and expulsion from the EU and EMU some reflections‘, a paper written by Phoebus Athanassiou. Here we see “The idea that the treaties should explicitly provide for a possibility of expulsion was discussed in the 2001-2003 Intergovernmental Conference responsible for drafting the ill-fated Constitutional Treaty, but was abandoned“, on page 32 it gives the premise that greed driven politicians did not consider that expulsion should be an option. In addition, the EU observer gives us in 2011 ““Neither exit nor expulsion from the euro area is possible, according to the Lisbon treaty under which participation in the euro area is irrevocable,” he added, referring to the European Union’s rule-book.” and there is May 2012, where we get “The Mechanics of Eurozone Withdrawal, It has frequently been stated that the EU Treaties contain no legal framework for a withdrawal from the Eurozone.  This is true and, indeed, the Treaties make it clear that the process of monetary union was intended to be “irreversible” and “irrevocable”“. The last we got from Locke Lord LLP, a Texas Lawfirm. So I now need to revert to my original Dutch Diplomatic self stating: ‘Moscovici, you stupid fuck! There is 9 years of documentation from people better educated than me stating that kicking out of the Eurozone was not an option in any way. So get a fucking grip on your stupidity and amend it or resign your post, your choice!‘ (Sorry, I needed to get that off my chest, I feel a little better now).

The final straw for my ego is found in the Guardian quote “But it means the left-led government in Athens will have to stick to austerity measures and reforms, including high budget surpluses, for more than 40 years. Adherence will be monitored quarterly“, when we consider that my setting was without the ‘discount’, the proven setting that the debt will be a 3G debt, it will push hardship on three generations. A setting I was able to prove with an abacus is now finally recognised by those less fortunate as they were not able to get basic calculus done. I am happy for me being correct, but not for the hardship that the next generation of Greeks face, they never had any choice in the matter, merely have to clean up after grandpa’s bad political choices, to them it is massively unfair.

The final part if given with: “At almost 180% of GDP, Greece is burdened with the highest debt load in Europe. The €320bn debt mountain is widely recognised as the single biggest obstacle to economic recovery. The International Monetary Fund had resolutely refused to sign up to the country’s latest bailout unless Eurozone creditors agreed to a restructuring that would ultimately make the debt sustainable“, most will not recognise the miswording that is used here. With ‘widely recognised as the single biggest obstacle to economic recovery‘, which is actually ‘Greece has no options to recover from a debt that high, not ever‘. Which leads to ‘International Monetary Fund had resolutely refused to sign up to the country’s latest bailout‘ and ‘make the debt sustainable‘, which needs to be read as: ‘the IMF cannot allow the support of a debt that cannot be paid off, lower it!‘, yet when is the setting for sustainable made? Making it longer by setting the €328 billion in three stages of 26 years each? Who will sign up for that? How many forward pushing bond programs will it require and we understand that among the banks (read: financial institutions), they are willing to do that as long as it is set in 25% profit stages, giving light to the fact that the additional pressure beyond the debt is the Greek population paying an additional €78 billion in sustainable bonus. If you’re Greek, would you want your child to inherit a €75 billion invoice at birth? That was what I predicted three years ago and I have been proven correctly and I have been conservative, when you consider the cost of the bonds, the interest paid to the people buying the bonds as well as the impact of devaluation of a nation that cannot fund its infrastructure. It is a mess and when you consider Forbes on 28th Jan 2017, where we see: “The IMF projects Greek debt will reach 170 percent of GDP by 2020 and 164 percent of GDP by 2022 but will rise thereafter, reaching around 275 percent of GDP by 2060” (at https://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2017/01/28/amazingly-yes-the-imf-is-still-saying-that-the-greek-debt-problem-is-not-yet-solved), we see that they were off last year by close to 10%, so the prospect for Greece is even worse than the IMF predicted (I admit a slight overbearing assumption at present).

To illustrate that, I will revert to a source that I cannot vouch for, yet they give (at https://www.thenation.com/article/goldmans-greek-gambit/) “As a result, about 2 percent of Greece’s debt magically disappeared from its national accounts. Christoforos Sardelis, then head of Greece’s Public Debt Management Agency, later described the deal to Bloomberg Business as “a very sexy story between two sinners.” For its services, Goldman received a whopping 600 million euros ($793 million), according to Spyros Papanicolaou, who took over from Sardelis in 2005“, a fee closing that surpassed half a billion euros.

So in the end, the news, the papers the quotes, it will be up to you to decide how Greece is given a fair go, yet they themselves have mostly only themselves to blame. You see, in all this, how many Greek politicians went to prison? How many got their assets taken from them? Or are we all agreeing that there was no legal option? Now wonder if the legal options exist at present, if not. Then this is the bed of hardship that the Greeks made for Greece.

So, are the Greeks still being lied to? If that is so who exactly is presenting their version of the ‘facts’ to the Greeks?

 

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Cheese Pizza with Oregano

I love Pizza, I hardly ever get it, merely because the people here tend to rely on Domino’s and Pizza Hut and neither tends to be a true pizza (as I personally see it). As I walked through Sydney over the last week, it dawned on me just the massive lack of actual decent Pizza places in Sydney. It is almost like they are no longer in a sustainable environment. People got used to the cheap solutions two chains bring and they call it Pizza. All the people in the neighbourhood accepted it as the real deal and now, we forgot what true awesome Pizza is like. Now, I am a little off the wall here. I love my Cheese Pizza, with the 5 cheeses and loads of Oregano on top. So when I think Pizza, I always think of the Bravo Trattoria Pizza’s at Crow’s Nest, they are my favourite! Yet, is it about pizza, or the place, or what Pizza actually is? You see, it does matter when we consider the Financial Review (at https://www.afr.com/personal-finance/italys-debt-barely-sustainable-ubs-chief-economist-20180601-h10uun), we see here what I said weeks ago and last week to some degree. When we see “Italy’s debt-to-GDP ratio of 130 per cent is “borderline sustainable”, the UBS top economist says. There is a level of the primary budget surplus which keeps debt stable, and above which you can begin to pay down your obligations, Kapteyn explains. For Italy this figure is a surplus of 1.3 per cent of GDP, versus the actual surplus of 2 per cent. It’s a skinny buffer of around 0.8 percentage points which at current debt levels “doesn’t inspire confidence”, Kapteyn says“. That is merely the tip of the iceberg. The issue is not that it is Italy, it matters more that it is one of the big four. UK, France, Germany and Italy are the large economic suppliers of a 27 nation bloc where they basically represent well over 50% of the EU economy, the fact that they all are in deep debt does not help and the fact that the UK is getting out, or is that ‘was trying to get out‘? So when we see add the issues of the UK and now we see how the Italian issues are growing and France is not far behind. A 27 nation failure due to the inability to set proper budgets, deal with debt levels and add to that a failed economy jump start that is now close to 3 trillion Euro printed with no real prospects to pay for any of it. That revelation is why Italy seems to be vacating the union. The action by President Sergio Mattarella by rejecting the Eurosceptic finance minister and put in his place Giovanni Tria a pro-EU professor. This is perhaps the first setting where we see that voting is no longer an issue for any government, the holier than thou setting of protecting the Euro and the EU against all odds, whilst those in the EU commissions are massively overpaid is setting the foundation of a dangerous mindset. The issue that the AFR is bringing to light is “markets are not pricing in the risk of an Italian exit, they are repricing the risk of a Italian default“. I always rated the Iexit (aka iLeave) setting very low, the two populist parties in charge was not that realistic in 2016 and when Marine Le Pen was ‘surpassed’ by a former investment funds manager we were all wondering what would come next and I thought it would lower the chances of the populists in Italy. And the news is not getting any better. We see that with “The European economy hit a wall over the final months of last year, with growth dropping from a quarterly growth rate of 0.7 per cent to more like 0.4 per cent. Economists are unclear of the reasons for the slowdown, but broadly believed the European economy would quickly rebound“, the issue I personally see is ‘broadly believed the European economy would quickly rebound‘, not the slowdown. You see there is no evidence that there is an actual quick rebound. There is every chance that there will be a rebound, but it will not be quick. The fact that these so called experts are all thumbs when it comes to their forecasting and with 0.3% unaccounted for, we can see that they are in the dark or playing the bad news cycle. I personally believe it to be the second one. And the Italian issues are increasing. Not merely the debt settings, it is a changed political landscape. Even as Paolo Savona was replaced by Giovanni Tria, there is still “Mr Di Maio will be vice-premier and minister for labour and economic development, including trade policy. Matteo Salvini, head of the League, will also be vice-premier and interior minister in charge of immigration“. This we got from the Financial Times (at https://www.ft.com/content/79cf905c-64a8-11e8-90c2-9563a0613e56). This duo is going to be a lot more important than even I initially thought. They now have a handle on labour economic development and immigration will see larger changes. There is no way to predict whether that is good or bad. If we listen to people like George Soros we are instantly rejecting liberalism, because it is easy to be a liberalist when you are a multi billionaire, yet he had no issues to short sell US$10 billion worth of Pound sterling, earning a billion in the process during the 1992 Black Wednesday UK currency crisis. He did nothing wrong, he played the system when he could and make a billion. Things like that never go away and he must regard the EU zone as a very profitable short sell opportunity, which makes whatever he is trying to do dangerous, so in that light all his settings for “Best for Britain pushes for second referendum on Theresa May’s deal with EU“, a cause he is backing is very dangerous. In this by pushing the UK away from Brexit, the pressure on Italy decreases. The dangers become that irresponsible spending in the big four can go on for several more years and there is no way to control the ECB and their puppet masters. Unelected people deciding on the descent of financial futures in 27 nations that is how I personally see it. You can agree or disagree, yet ask yourself when was the last time that any European got a decent explanation on who of how the 3 trillion euro spend was going to be dealt with? You see over a decade in an economic setting that is close to the late 90’s, whilst keeping strict austerity in play all over Europe. There is quite literally no way that this will happen, because politicians will adjust their policy towards any speculative proclaimer of ‘the European economy would quickly rebound‘ economists, whilst not prosecuting them when they get it wrong (merely because making any claim of expectation is not a crime, is it?). A setting that the people have no chance of winning, hell, they won’t ever be able to break even on this. This shows that Brexit will be a hard, but the better way to go. When billionaires start proclaiming how bad it is and how ‘we all’ can get a better deal that is when you become afraid for your life and that is what is at stake. And we see this in the Australian Financial Review with ““creeping into the market”, Kapteyn says – “a potentially dangerous one”. After the glory days of 2017 in which investors basked in a globally synchronised upswing, markets are now faced with the potential return of the two-speed world economy: the US vs the rest“, so when we get “America’s economy is growing around 3.5 per cent; some independent analysts estimate growth as fast as 4 per cent. Europe is “at best” growing by 2 per cent“, that shows the dangers, because as George Soros is getting the winnings, the other players do not, from my point of view it is a form of leeching, leeching Europe dry for the term of a generation or better. You see again it is a personal view, it is why Best for Britain is getting the support, it is about delaying Brexit at the very least for as long as possible, merely because it stops the game people like George Soros are likely to be playing and when that stops Europe can start bringing things about, hopefully for the better, especially as the ECB will be forced to print money for all kinds of dubious reasons, dubious because kick-starting the economy after you printed 3 trillion to try it twice is just ridiculous, that money has to be paid back at some point and everyone is in denial about the latter part.

Yet this is still about Italy, not the UK. You see, Italians want what is best for Italy and I am fine with that, I believe in a healthy sense of national pride. Yet with “Italy’s debt-to-GDP ratio of 130 per cent is ‘borderline sustainable’” they are facing an ugly truth, Italy needs to face 5-15 years of Austerity, yet with the ECB trying to economically equalise Europe, at the cost of the big four, so it amounts to Italy trying on top of an economy for 60 million Italians, whilst they are weighted with invoices for close to 250 million Europeans who can’t be bothered to get their house in order. it amounts to giving an addicted gambler $500 whilst they are only allowed to use $10 for gambling, you tell me how long it takes for things to go really wrong, and that is pretty much a given on this situation. It was seen in the Netherlands 2012 and 2013, and now we see, when we look at the Dutch government statements with in September 2017 we see “The economy will grow by 3.3% in 2017 and a projected 2.5% in 2018“, we see the EU commission giving the Netherlands a ‘mere’ 3.2% last month for that same timespan. Now the 0.1% is actually pretty good, but it is still dangerous when it is a 0.1% in Italy, the issue is seen when we see that the Netherlands has a 65% debt level against Italy at 130% of GDP, and the Dutch are actually in a much better position, so the 0.1% is no actual pain level. Portugal, Spain, Greece, Belgium and Italy all have debt levels well over 100% of GDP, several other nations are somewhere between 60% and 80% of GDP, whilst France is at 99.8%. It is the debt levels that are excellent for banks and not so good for the people. You see, when the big four are required to pay €254 billion in interest each year and that is just the large 4, how do you think that this gets paid for? A decade of inability to set a proper budget and all this is before we consider the €3,000 billion that the ECB printed for what they call Quantative Easing. That is what Italy needs to get away from and at 135% they have the hardest job of all. So when you see that all that money goes all to the banks, short sold loans that they never had the money for to pay for can you see just how dangerous the George Soros setting is in all this? It all impacts Italy to some degree. These are not merely the facts; there is also presentation, representation and misrepresentation. The issue is in the Australian Review, it is the view of Arend Kapteyn. Yet where is he at when he gives us “We are only now at the beginning to find out how responsible or irresponsible [the new coalition government] are going to be on the fiscal side“, you see, the setting then becomes what is irresponsible? Being not pro Eurozone, being forced to default whilst the alternatives are just too unacceptable for the Italian people? So is he the pro greed setting, or the pro solution setting, because with such debt levels we can almost unanimously accept that these two choices are mutually exclusive. The most interesting political part is that Enzo Moavero Milanesi is now Minister of Foreign Affairs. I would have thought that the populists wanted that part for themselves, the fact that this post is now with an Italian independent is an interesting choice, if the populists can work with this setting and use it to maximise their economy by setting new option and opportunities, Italy gets an optional path where minimised immigration and maximised economy could have a setting where the Italian unemployment rates could fall to a number below 10% over the next 24 months (highly speculative on my side). If they pull that off, the entire euro sceptic setting could grow a lot faster than would have been possible with Paolo Savona in the mix.

No matter how you slice the Pizza, the factual and actual quality Italian dish is under massive amounts of pressure on several sides and any Italian thinking that their life will get better in the short run is just gobbling down a [Unnamed Franchise] Pizza, bland food that look like a UFO and tastes not as great. The fact is that like Germany did earlier this decade, Italy will know 5-10 years of hardship, yet when persevered Italy could have an actual growing economy for a much longer time, something to look forward to (if you are Italian). Can this government pull it off? That is hard to say because it has been shown that the actions of the ECB are close to non-stoppable and that will still impacts the bottom line. It is good for America and George Soros in the short term, yet after that they will not care and Europe will not be going anywhere ever soon. That danger is just ignored all over the place. Just 2 days ago the Financial Times also gave us “There are still two weeks to go before Riga, but naming an end date for QE right now would be like the ECB shooting itself in the Italian boot,” said Carsten Brzeski, economist at ING-DiBa. “The Italian situation has tilted the balance towards the doves [and] clearly calls for the ECB to keep its options open and even to make clear that they will extend QE at least until December” (at https://www.ft.com/content/dd6b5d70-6413-11e8-90c2-9563a0613e56), which is already an extension of well over a year. so when we see “The ECB has pledged to reinvest an average of €15bn a month over the first four months of next year, using the proceeds of government bonds bought under QE that have now matured” in that same article, we need to consider ‘bonds that have now matured‘, so that danger is seen in the Spanish setting where we see from some sources: “Spain will have refinancing requirements that exceed €300 billion per annum before 2022. In 2018, 41.2 billion euro, in 2019, 82.4, in 2020 83.9 and in 2021 58.5 billion euro, with 60.4 billion maturing in 2022“, so this fiscal year Spain will be required to find €41 billion, or increase taxes or cut services, and it will be twice that amount next year around, so how exactly is Spain in a setting to get the economy back whilst the debts are rising beyond normal control? Italy faces “84 billion euro maturities in 2018, 161 billion in 2019, 164 billion in 2020 and 172.5 billion euro in 2021” do the Italian people know that they are in such deep and hot waters? I wonder, and when they get confronted with that part of the bad news cycle, what will the previous and opposition then proclaim? I wonder if we will see true honest coverage on that blame game. I will order a decent Pizza to watch that unfold, because there are merely the two larger players in the EU-debt zone bloc confronted with the hardships that will hit them hard. Pushing these debts forward is just not a workable solution, not when the debt exceeded 130% of GDP, if you doubt my words, just talk to the average Greek in Athens and ask him how his quality of life is nowadays.

So as you wanted that your slice of life included a slice of pizza, consider the 99% in Italy who soon face the reality that they are no longer able to afford that for a long time to come.

 

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