Tag Archives: Greece

A shaky Farce Majeure

I got confronted with two news items today, the weirdest part is that the source is the Daily Mail (at http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4717082/Chaos-British-holidaymakers-killer-earthquake.html), which is upsetting to some degree. The news started with the earthquake on Kos last week, a shaking that extended all the way to Crete. Now, as the building laws are on Crete, the news of the earthquake was not one that shook me, the people there know it, yet the strength was stronger than usually dealt with. OK, so far no biggie as news goes. Yet, the initially not highly regarded headline became ‘Thomson REFUSES to refund terrified holidaymaker and his family as they try to cancel their trip to Kos amid earthquake chaos‘, which woke me up. This is not the first time that travel agencies are frowned upon, so I decided to take another look. Justin Curtis who wrote this is pounding on a few items that are actually bigger news than most realise.

Now apart from the news you are about to see, there is a few matters that we need to consider, and I will get to them shortly. First we see “Brits due to go to region say they are being told they cannot have a refund“, I’ll tell you another one, they are still offering these trips online, so I could fly out Saturday at £3275 for a fortnight, by the way a comparable trip with a 5 star hotel booked in the Netherlands is €1048 (£937), which is a totally absurd difference (it included the flight, so ordering the trip in the Netherlands, or book it online and take an additional Euro trip train could save you £2300 (minus the two train tickets), so in light of the prices Thomson is pretty ridiculous. In addition, Thomson proclaims to be an ABTA member (shown on their website), With ABTA we see “Clients’ Options on Cancellation 3B) If they are Principals who cancel previously confirmed Travel Arrangements, inform Agents and direct Clients without delay and offer Clients the choice of: i) alternative Travel Arrangements if available; or ii) a full refund of all monies paid. Such refunds shall be sent to Agents and direct Clients without delay.

Now, this is only one part, in addition we see:

3D) Not make a significant alteration to Travel Arrangements less than 14 days before the departure date of the Travel Arrangements unless it is necessary to do so as a result of Force Majeure.

I think that we can agree that an Earthquake is as Force Majeure as it gets.

There are rules of compensation for part, in case it was not a Force Majeure. So in light of what I see, Thomson might be in a lot more trouble than they think they are.

It was merely a first part, the fact that Thomson kept the lines open for flights this coming Saturday indicates just how insensitive they are to their clients. If the Daily Mail is to be believed, we should also consider their website. When we see: “We’re part of TUI Group – one of the world’s leading travel companies. And all of our holidays are designed to help you Discover Your Smile.” You have to wonder how they will address the issues as given with “Some laid down on the grass after they were denied entry to the airport, with staff limiting the number of people allowed inside due to its small size“, which for safety reasons makes perfect sense, in addition we see “I said I wanted my money back but they told me no and that it was safe. But Kos is not going to be rebuilt in a week and I asked if they could guarantee me the buildings there and my hotel were structurally sound and they couldn’t“, from a torts point of view, Thomson now might have an expensive legal issue evolving at their front door, one that they cannot defer under ABTA, This case could get us to Donoghue v Stevenson. Ms Donoghue claimed compensation for illness, after she consumed a ginger beer containing a decomposed snail, in a public house in Paisley, Scotland. This is the first case of Torts, as Thomson is now quoted to have stated that Kos is Safe, if any mishap comes from the trip, the family could sue as there is news and evidence on the dangers. Kathmiri, the Greek news source gives that dozens of buildings are at present unsafe with dozens more not yet investigated, so Thomson was THIS negligent? The question becomes why Thomson has become this negligent whilst the ABTA code of conduct is pretty clear in section 3 on those who have booked, yet not yet travelled. They could have faced praise and clientele as they bended over backwards by offering and working towards alternative solutions for scores of travellers, now they could get into a lot of hot water. The diverted Ferry service is only a small issue, the reason why it was diverted is the real danger as some quays are actually ripped from the road, making for unsafe conditions. This issue goes beyond the Tsunami that came, yet in all this the complications from electricity, sewage and heat will go up and could potentially create additional hazards for some time, we cannot state how long or how realistic these dangers would be, but they will be there. If essential parts are fixed within a month it would be a small miracle, a given that no one should bank on. For Kos, this could not have happened at a worst time, the summer is the height of their annual tourism income flow. July-September is essential to the people on Kos and Crete; as such Kos might get a big blow in a time when the Greek economy could afford it the least. So back to Torts, we have basically shown a Duty of Care and now we get to Breach of Duty, so as we get to the ‘reasonable man‘ test, would a reasonable man send another person into an earthquake stricken place for a family holiday (or any holiday?), if we consider a reasonable safe environment (especially) for children, Thomson could be seen as the reckless endangering element to the health of these children on that vacation. As such, they might state, the people could have decided not to go. In this a step towards criminal law is that the vacation is a product (or service), so as we see product liability we get “Anyone who is harmed by an unsafe product could sue. They can begin their court case up to three years from the date of the injury. In some cases, they can even sue up to ten years after the product was sold“, it is a thin line, yet with these bulk vacations, the minimum amount of people for a class action should be easily reached, especially when there are torts exploiters (they do exist). Consider that the vacation is a product that is offered, in such we could go towards the ‘Guide to the Consumer Protection Act 1987‘, where we see “In the past those injured had to prove a manufacturer negligent before they could successfully sue for damages. The Consumer Protection Act 1987 removes the need to prove negligence. A customer can already sue a supplier, without proof of negligence, under the sale of goods law. The Act provides the same rights to anyone injured by a defective product, whether or not the product was sold to them“, in addition, there is “Liability under the Act extends to components and raw materials. If a finished product contains a defect in a particular component, both the manufacturer of the finished product and the component manufacturer may be liable“, which is interesting, so any item on the package sold to the tourist might be up for instigating the damage compensation track, so not merely the hotel, any excursion sold to the tourist could start liability at this stage. So how defective is this product?

Well the act gives us “A defective product is defined as one where the safety of the product is not such as persons generally are entitled to expect” and according to the Daily Mail, the people at Thomson proclaimed that Kos was safe, so in light of damaged quays, collapsed buildings with rubble all over the street, when the light goes a little low, spraining an ankle would be the easiest part in the entire equation and the elements to sue have been met, after which the liability track could commence. All because Thomson stated according to the Daily Mail source: “Gary Taylor, left, is due to fly to Kos with wife Katy and daughter Summer, pictured, next week but said he wanted to cancel due to safety fears, only to be told by Thomson he ‘could not have the £2,800 cost refunded due to terms and conditions’ of the deal“, yet this is opposed by ABTA code of conduct section 3b and 3d. And ABTA went one step further by giving within the definition of a Force Majeure as “circumstances where performance and/or prompt performance of the contract is prevented by reasons of unusual and unforeseeable circumstances beyond the control of the Principal, the consequences of which could not have been avoided even if all due care had been exercised“. Such circumstances include a natural disaster, so when were earthquakes and Tsunamis not natural disasters? If the Daily Mail is correct, this Force Majeure is making Thomson look like a Farce Majeure, the one place where booking a holiday might not be the best idea, not just for the prices stated.

Yet in the sidelines we also read “Thomson is offering alternative holidays for those due to travel to Kos or Bodrum should they no longer wish to“, which is one offer that ABTA clearly allows for, yet when we see at the Code of Conduct at 3B.ii “a full refund of all monies paid. Such refunds shall be sent to Agents and direct Clients without delay“, the issue of asking a few more questions to the top of Thomson seems a warranted issue to pursue.

The final part that rocked me is that there is at present no ombudsman for travels, something I actually never considered not existing, when we see that a trip per person could be in advance of £2500 and there are 8,000 UK travellers stranded on Kos, is it not weird that one event, representing £20m is not properly protected? Not merely for the traveller, to some extent to protect the travel agency as well? Is such a voluntary code legally enforceable? Well, that is actually the issue, I am not certain in the UK law settings, in Australia, the case in the Victorian Supreme Court named National Australia Bank Ltd v Rose [2016] VSCA 169 gives us “The Voluntary Banking Code in question stated that NAB had to give Mr Rose “prominent notice of various matters” before taking a guarantee from him. Chief Justice Marilyn Warren and Justice Stephen McLeish of the Victorian Court of Appeal dismissed NAB’s appeal of the original case: “We would respectfully agree with the trial judge’s conclusion that those clauses of the Banking Code had contractual force as terms of the guarantee at issue.”“, I reckon that the UK might find against Thomson travel agency if it gets sued, there is a decent chance that the judges will see the voluntary code of conduct, which seems to be used at times as a marketing presentation on the travellers rights as a mandatory setting regarding the terms of guarantee, or as a Terms of Service, in equal measure, in light of what I have found so far Thomson made a few blunders, several on the same day as their terms of service are seen. I also reckon that Thomson might be the only one visible now, but this issue could hit any agency that has some mention of ABTA in their sales prospectus or website and not offer a decent alternative or a full refund.

 

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The European Axis of Evil

The term got phrased in 2002 by George W. Bush, it was a term to describe governments accused of helping terrorism, digging for weapons of mass destruction and so on. The list had Iran, Iraq and North Korea. Yet now 14 years later, some consider that Iraq is no longer that, the other two remain, or do they? In all this there is a new player, the player is Turkey. It is not because of their affiliation to Iran, although that does not help their case. It is that our good old pressie GW the act of intentional destabilisation. You see terrorism is all about destabilising and Turkey has had its hand in that for the longest of times. A well heard case of last week was the scuffle that the Greek Coast Guard went into last week. At http://greece.greekreporter.com/2017/07/04/turkey-tries-to-exploit-incident-of-greek-coastguard-firing-warning-shots-at-turkish-cargo-ship/ we see ‘Turkey Tries to Exploit Incident of Greek Coastguard Firing Warning Shots at Turkish Cargo Ship‘, with the quote “The Turkish Foreign Ministry condemned Greece for the incident, making reference to “dry cargo” being carried between the Iskenderun port to Izmir port. “We strongly condemn the unmeasured act of Greek authorities in this disgusting incident,” a Turkish foreign ministry statement said“, yet in all this, do you know what is the most surprising part? The part that instead of making a thorough search on this ship showing that there were no drugs and that there was no case (which might have embarrassed the Greek authorities a little), everything became about the shots on a cargo ship and the Turkish fleet sending three ships into the region. So instead of the 1978 ‘Midnight Express‘ where the authorities went overboard on the American smuggling the drugs, they seem to go soft and facilitating on the drug dealers from Turkish descent. Is that corruption or what? As for the part of ‘disgusting incident‘, when we compare the Greek Coast Guard stopping a possible drug smuggler versus the amount of Kurds casually murdered by Turkish troops. I know what gets my vote for ‘disgusting incident‘ and it will not be the Greek Coast Guard.

The second issue is Qatar. Now there are a few unknowns here in the general part of Qatar. I do not claim to know all the inns and outs of the events, yet when one nation pisses off the bulk of the OPEC nations and basically all the neighbours, there is an issue. When Iran suddenly comes to the ‘aid’ of Qatar, we can accept that Qatar is not relying on the best voice to make any claim they might have. For Turkey to walk in brazen (or if that high on testosterone?) to play ‘protector of the underdog‘ they are not aiding, they are destabilizing the situation. As we see on how the papers all claim “President Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday reaffirmed Turkey’s support for Qatar“, I remember the issues in 2002. America had been under attack and they needed their European ‘ally’ to grant them access to an air base. So what happened? Turkey thought it was a good moment to try some blackmail. Like nullifying all debts, large cash incentives and the list went on for a while. That was for me the first clear indication that a nation like Turkey had no business being part of the EU or given any of its privileges. Turkeys only concern is turkey, which is acceptable to some extent. I accept that any nation is in it to make its life and the life of its citizens better. Turkey just did that in a few too unacceptable ways. Basically at that point, Turkey became a facilitator and to the smallest extent a protector of the terrorists that had attacked America.

When we look at the June article in Al Jazeera, we see: “Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE and several other countries cut their ties with Doha on Monday, accusing it of supporting armed groups and their regional rival, Iran – charges Qatar says are baseless“. So is this merely about intelligence and evidence? Can 4 nations be so wrong? The issue added to this is that Turkey is less about support for Qatar, as it is to destabilize the situation. In addition, it seems to be less about ties with Qatar as it is about making stronger bonds with Iran. You see Turkey is not stupid, Iran with some of the sanctions lifted could be a haven of consumer exploitation in Iran, a large chunk of cash turkey is always greedy to get their fingers on (and with the state of their currency, who can blame them?), so as we see these iteration play out, we see two events where Turkey is not an example of positivity and merely another piece of evidence that Turkey has become a member of the Axis of Evil. In all this America is also active trying to resolve issues, where only 15 minutes ago, the first draft of meeting points for the meetings that US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will be discussing in Kuwait on Monday. Yet in all it is the other part, parts touched on yet not discussed in detail which is the accusation from the Saudi led group on “the continued events seeking to sabotage and undermine the security and stability in the Gulf region“. Another side to this was given by foreignnpolicy.com only mere hours ago. “Regardless of what the United States does, sharply increasing the vitriol towards Iran while at the same time laying siege to fellow GCC member Qatar will likely weaken the Saudi position and what is left of an already compromised Arab political order. Intended to take Iran down a notch, these actions instead will likely strengthen Tehran’s hand“, this is where the destabilising part of Turkey comes more into play. As Turkey commits military support, Iran can void their actions to interfere by merely calling Ankara to do so. It does not merely make Ankara the puppet of Tehran, a game they will be rewarded for later, it allows for any resolution into the entire matter to not become a reality and as such, the evidence on terrorist support by Qatar becomes more believable. In this the second side would be that both Turkey and Iran can give support to Yemen to bolster pressure. In this, my most inhumane statement of all-time! ‘Thank god for Cholera!‘ If Yemen was not hit by cholera the way it is, the pressure on Saudi Arabia would have been a lot higher and as such escalations by the 4 members would have been near impossible to avoid. In this the four would have additional options if a large humanitarian front towards Yemen would open up to give relief to the speculated 275,000 cholera cases in Yemen. The reason is not merely Yemen, the danger of Cholera moving from Yemen into Oman and Saudi Arabia is getting more and more likely, implying that once it gets into Saudi Arabia, the pressure becomes even greater. In all this Turkey is sending tonnes of supportive goods to Yemen, which looks pretty good on the Turkey resume and through that they are only increasing their visibility to both Iran and Qatar. As such, if the Saudi led group would send humanitarian assistance, it could diminish Turkey’s growing footprint and it would be the right thing to do. In all this we now see (yesterday that is) is that ‘Qatar ‘opens its books’ to Germany’s intelligence agency to clear up terrorism claims‘, (at http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/qatar-opens-its-books-germanys-intelligence-agency-clear-terrorism-claims-1629260), we see the part that I was all in favour of close to a week ago. I reckon it takes time to get the ball rolling in Qatar. So how will this unfold? You see, in the end there are two elements. Not just what Qatar has in intelligence, because there will always be an issue between home and foreign intelligence. We should be able to agree that the 4 nations are not doing this for mere fun, so there is a level of intelligence that there has been an issue and Iran is not known to be the nice guy in any of this, strengthening the issue that Saudi Arabia et al have. You see, the following quote “Germany’s foreign minister has said his country’s intelligence agency will audit Qatar to help clear allegations Doha supports terrorism“, “However, they decided to continue with the ongoing embargo, following Qatar’s rejection of a list of demands it was told to meet to end its isolation” as well as “The United Nations undersecretary general, Jeffrey Feltman, met Qatar’s minister of state for foreign affairs, Sultan bin Saad Al Muraikhi, on Thursday. He expressed concern over the continuation of the crisis and stressed the UN support of Kuwait for its mediation efforts to solve the situation, Al Jazeera reported“.

So, why these three?

First

The fact that Qatar might not have put any part of these issues of intelligence to storage (or to whatever intelligence recording process they have, does not mean that it does not exist. We have examples that go back to world war one proving that, yet the most visible one was ‘Das England spiel‘ where dozens of radio operators were arrested the moment they landed, it showed huge flaws in the system and even as the fable of intentional misdirection was given at some point by non-official players, we see that there are needed moments of not committing any intelligence to storage media. The fact that Iran only trusts Iran is partially supportive evidence of that. when data is not available we cannot state whether the issue does or does not exist, we cannot predict the data that is not there, we can only consider other evidence that the lack of data is more likely than not, to be intentional.

Second

In this needed path to find evidence, it does not mean that the opponents stop their actions, until clear evidence is given, the opponents are in denial and even when after all this time the data comes out, any evidence stating that Qatar had not been part of the Iranian actions, does not mean that the evidence is accepted. Merely because someone vouches for another does not mean that the voucher is valid. Tools can be found on any level and the absence of evidence does not make a person guilty of innocent, the application is in the eyes of the beholder and Iran has soured the milk for the longest of time in the region making the option of Qatar making any case of defence harder, not easier.

Third

The fact that Jeffrey Feltman and Sultan bin Saad Al Muraikhi met does not give too much credence on any level. No matter how UN American he seems to be, as President Trump had given ‘support’ to Saudi Arabia gives less value to the existence of Jeffrey Feltman in this particular case. There would have been a better situation if this case was taken over by a non-American. This is not an assault on Jeffrey Feltman himself. It is merely that Americans are now on both sides of the table. This is great when you are an arms dealer, slightly less great when you need trust on any side of the table. The fact that a mere week ago Jeffrey Feltman stated that ‘No report on violation of resolution 2231 by Iran‘, giving on that “the supply, sale or transfer to Iran of nuclear-related items” has been set as fact does not mean that he lied or knowingly misrepresented his office. It merely gives rise that he might not be regarded as a trustworthy source by Saudi intelligence. That is the nature of the game and in this it is a mere consequence.

In addition, German sources give us “So far Turkey has sent more than 100 planeloads of relief and most recently a cargo ship carrying 4,000 tons of food aid. Ordinarily, affluent Qatar relies heavily on Saudi Arabian food exports“, now there is no indication that Turkey is doing anything but that, yet is that a certainty that Saudi and Egyptian intelligence will rely on? I know some of these people, paranoid, the whole lot of them! (It is a job requirement I guess). In this Turkey might be showing their ‘good’ side, yet in effect they are merely a more and more destabilising factor in this mess. It is that very same source that gives us a gem. We get “Galip Dalay, research director at the Al Sharq Forum and associate fellow at the Al Jazeera Center for Studies, a think tank funded by the broadcaster, Turkey has lost the opportunity to claim neutrality and mediate“, which is at the heart of the matter. Turkey has plenty of clever people, some exceedingly so, why would a ‘throne creating opportunity’ be missed like that? The one act that could have propelled Turkey in a positive way was merely cast aside by sending in the troops. In all this the quote “Turkey’s support for Qatar has actually prevented a potential invasion or toppling of the current Qatari administration“, I do not believe this to be the case, or ever was a valid concern. Should any of the 4 invaded Qatar; they would have been painted as the black trump card, the card that holds no value. It would not have mattered that there is ‘Oil in the family’; it would be the dark mark none of the 4 players wanted. This, when weighed gives additional value that Turkey is the new player in the Axis of Evil. I took the long way round to show you as the elements have multiple sides and you need to see more than one angle in this. So as we see that the Cyprus talks have collapsed, the call to suspend the Turkey ascension talks to the European Union are all elements of inaction, destabilising actions and what could be nothing else than stupid actions in uplifting whatever view of Turkey was possible, these elements buy themselves are no reason to see Turkey as the new member of the Axis of Evil, yet together they are a clear pattern in setting a tone of chaos whilst effectively removing the options of clarity to the diplomatic board. There can be no other option in this. It is not merely a one stage view; it is the view of close to half a dozen theatres where Turkey is setting the negative tone.

How wrong am I?

That remains to be seen. I am not proclaiming to have all the wisdom in town (just a lot of it), what is a given is that the board is always larger than one person can behold and the latest acts by Turkey, in light of the trade deal with Indonesia might have been a positive one, were it not that the first path they take is regarding the defence industry and the production of a medium tank named ‘Kaplan’. I am thrilled for President Joko Widodo to get his economy running a little better, yet Germany started their economy in an upwards trajectory by pushing the weapons industry. In this Indonesia merely gets a nice opportunity, in regards of Turkey I am a lot less certain on their motives. In addition, as we see those ties strengthen, there will be additional options for Iran and Russia, not the people I prefer to have as a neighbour, as Indonesia is a mere 400 Km to the north. I have no issue with Indonesia as they offer the greatest Batik’s on the planet. Having Iran and Turkey 400Km to the north was not what I had in mind when I decided to plant a vegetable garden with a view to the North. Yet, that might just be my limited view on life and global events.

The mere question remains, when we consider the political plays turkey could have made, is there an option that Turkey is a mere puppet in a game they don’t really understand? #Justasking

 

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Confirmation on Arrival

Last week, I gave you some of the views I had in ‘Google is fine, not fined‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2017/06/28/google-is-fine-not-fined/). I stated “This is not on how good one or the other is, this is how valid the EU regulator findings were and so far, I have several questions in that regard. Now, I will be the last one keeping governments from getting large corporations to pay taxation, yet that part is set in the tax laws, not in EU-antitrust. As mentioned the searchers before, I wonder whether the EU regulators are facilitating for players who seem more and more clueless in a field of technology that is passing them by on the left and the right side of the highway called, the ‘Internet Of Things’“, 5 days later we see that my views were correct, again and again I have shown that looking behind the scenes is adamant to see the levels of misinformation and betrayal. Now in ‘To tackle Google’s power, regulators have to go after its ownership of data‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/jul/01/google-european-commission-fine-search-engines) we now see: “The Google workshop at the Viva Technology show last month in Paris, which brought together players who shape the internet’s transformation“, this is what it always has been about. Who owns the data? Evgeny Morozov gives us a good story on what should be and what should not be, he pictures a possible upcoming form of feudalism, all drenched in data. It is no longer just about merely data and applicability; it is more and more about governments becoming obsolete. The EU is the first evidence in this. The EU is regarded as something that is on top of governments, yet that is not the case. It seems to be replacing them through orchestration. Mario Draghi is spending massive amounts of funds none of them have, yet in all this, yesterday we see “The European Central Bank has been dealt a heavy blow after inflation in June tumbled further below target, despite extreme measures from policymakers to stoke the economic measure” as well as “Unless price rises are stronger, ECB chief Mario Draghi has signaled that he is unlikely to scale back the mammoth levels of support for the economy“, so it is he and the ECB who are now setting the precedence of spending, printing money without any value behind supporting it. So is it ‘wealth distribution‘ or ‘wealth abolishment‘?

If we agree that this economy has failed, if we believe that this way of life is no more, when we accept that ¼th of this planets population is dead in roughly 25 years, what would come next? I would not presume to know that answer, yet can we imagine that if the dollar stops, we would need something else, in that case is data not a currency?

Now, I am perfectly happy to be utterly wrong here, I am also weirdly unsettled with the notion that our money is dwindling in value day after day. Now let’s get back to the ‘view’ of Morozov. When we see “Alphabet has so much data on each of us that any new incoming email adds very little additional context. There are, after all, diminishing returns to adding extra pieces of information to the billions it already possesses. Second, it’s evident that Alphabet, due to competition from Microsoft and Amazon, sees its paying corporate clients as critical to its future. And it’s prepared to use whatever advantages it has in the realm of data to differentiate itself from the pack – for example, by deploying its formidable AI to continue scanning the messages for viruses and malware“, we see more than just an adjustment in strategy.

Yet, I do not completely agree, you see data is only truly valued when it is up to date, so as data rolls over for new data new patterns will emerge. That would be an essential need for anything towards an AI, in this Data in motion and evolving data is essential to the core of any AI. and that timeline is soon becoming more adamant than some realise.

When we consider a quote from a 2006 article relating to a 2004 occurrence “Google published a new version of its PageRank patent, Method for node ranking in a linked database. The PageRank patent is filed under its namesake, Lawrence Page, and assigned to The Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University; US Patent 7,058,628“, we should consider that the value it has will diminish (read: be reduced) in 2024 (for Google that is). There is of course another sight that this was ‘version 2‘, so others would be able to get closer with their own version. In 6 years as the Patent ends it will be open to all to use. No matter what some have, you only need to switch to Bing for a few days to see how straggling and incomplete it is. When you realise that Microsoft has no way at present to offer anything close to it, you get the first inside of how high the current Google value is and how much it scares governments and large corporations alike.

Now we get to the ‘ground works’ of it. From this we can see that Google seems to have been the only one working on an actual long term strategy, an event that others have stopped doing for a long time. All we see from Microsoft and IBM has been short term, masquerading as long term goals with 70% of those goals falling into disrepair and become obsolete through iteration (mainly to please the stakeholders they report to), is it such a surprise that I or anyone else would want to be part of an actual visionary company like Google? If Google truly pulls of the AI bit (it has enough data) we would see a parsing of intelligence (read: Business Intelligence) on a scale never witnessed before. It would be like watching a Google Marine holding a 9mm, whilst the opposite is the IBM Neanderthal (read: an exaggeration, the IBM would be the Cro-Magnon, not Neanderthal) holding a pointy stick named Watson. The extreme difference would be that large. In all this governments are no longer mentioned. They have diminished into local governments organising streams of data and facilitating consumers, mere civil servants in service of the people in their district. Above that, those levels of workers would become obsolete; the AI would set structures and set resources for billions. We went from governments, to organisations, we left fair opportunity behind and moved to ‘those who have and those who have not‘, and they are soon to be replaced for the ‘enablers and obstructers‘ and those who are the latter would fall into the shadows and face away.

Am I Crazy?

Well, that is always a fair argument, yet in all this, we have Greece as an initial example. Greece is possibly the only European nation with a civilisation that would soon become extinct twice. So as we see reports of lagging tourism revenue, on top of high regarded rises in GDP, rises we know that are not happening as the revenues are down by a larger margin (source: GTP), Greek revenue is down by 6.8 percent, which is massive! This gives stronger notions that the ‘beckoning of Greek bonds‘ is nothing more than a façade of a nation in its final moments of life. The fact that the ECB is not giving it any consideration for its trillion spending could also be regarded as evidence that the ECB has written off Greece. So tell me, when was the last time that nations were written off? Some of the press is now considering the works of former ‘rock star’ Yanis Varoufakis. Yet in all this, when did they actually change the landscape by investigating and prosecuting those who got Greece in the state it is in now? In the end, only the journalist releasing a list of millionaires pulling their money out of Greece, only he went to prison. So, as such, Greece is a first step of evidence that governments are no longer the powers they once claimed they were, and as less and less government officials are being held to account when it comes to larger financial transgressions is also a factor as to why the people of those nations no longer give them any regard.

The second view is in the UK, here we see ‘U.K. to End Half Century of Fishing Rights in Brexit Slap to EU‘, in this Bloomberg gives us “Prime Minister Theresa May will pull Britain out of the 1964 London convention that allows European fishing vessels to access waters as close as six to twelve nautical miles from the U.K. coastline“, in here we also see “This is an historic first step towards building a new domestic fishing policy as we leave the European Union — one which leads to a more competitive, profitable and sustainable industry for the whole of the U.K.“, which is only partially true. You see, Michael Gove has only a partial point and it is seen with: “Britain’s fishing industry is worth 775 million pounds and in 2015 it employed 10,162 full-time fishermen, down from about 17,000 in 1990. In almost three decades, fleet numbers dropped a third to 6,200 vessels and the catch has shrunk 30 percent“, the part that is not given is that from 1930 onwards engineering made massive strides in the field of ship engines, not large strides but massive ones. A ship, and its crew can catch fish, yet it is the engines that allow for the nets to be bigger and for the winches to be stronger to hoist those filled nets. In the ‘old’ days 2000 horsepower was a really powerful vessel, which amounted to 1.5 megawatts. Nowadays, these boats start at well over 300% of what was, so not only are the ships larger, can hold more fish and pull more weight, these ships are also getting more efficient in finding fish. I personally witnessed one of the first colour screen fish radars in 1979. In this field technology has moved far beyond this, almost 4 decades beyond this. If there is one part clearly shown, than it is the simple fact that technology changed industries, which has been a given for the better part of three generations. Not merely because we got better at what we do or how we do it, but as fishing results show that catches has been down by 30%, there is the optional element that there is less to catch because we got too efficient. It is a dwindling resource and fishing is merely the first industry to see the actual effects that lack of restraint is leading to.

So when we see a collapsed industry, can we blame governments? Who can we blame and is blame an actual option? In this, is there any validity in the fact that this part of government has surpassed its date of usefulness? Perhaps yes and there is equal consideration that this is not the case, yet the amount of consumers remains growing and as available resources go down we see the need for other solutions.

This is merely a first part. As we now move into the US and their 4th of July part, I will now look at other sides as well, sides we stopped considering. You see, there is opposition and it is growing. CNBC gives us one side to this with ‘Google Deep Mind patient data deal with UK health service illegal, watchdog says‘ (at http://www.cnbc.com/2017/07/03/google-deepmind-nhs-deal-health-data-illegal-ico-says.html), three points were raised. “A data sharing deal between Google’s Deep Mind and the U.K.’s National Health Service “failed to comply with data protection law“, the U.K.’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) said“, “The deal between the two parties was aimed at developing a new app called Streams that helped monitor patients with acute kidney disease” as well as “the ICO said that patients were not notified correctly about how their data was being used“. Now, we can agree that an optional situation could exist. So does Elisabeth Denham have a point? For now let’s agree that she does, I would reckon that there has been a communicative transgression (this is how she plays it), yet is she being over formal or is she trying to slice the cake in a different way? The strongest statement is seen with “For example, a patient presenting at accident and emergency within the last five years to receive treatment or a person who engages with radiology services and who has had little or no prior engagement with the Trust would not reasonably expect their data to be accessible to a third party for the testing of a new mobile application, however positive the aims of that application may be.” OK, I can go along with that, we need certain settings for any level of privacy to be contained, yet…..there is no yet! The issue is not Google, the issue is that the data protection laws are there for a reason and now, it will hinder progress as well. As health services and especially UK NHS will need to rely on other means to stay afloat as costs are weighing it more and more to the bottom of an ocean of shortage of funding, the NHS will need to seek other solutions that will set an upward movement whilst the costs are slowly being worked on, it will take a long time and plenty of cash to sort it out, Google is merely one player who might solve the partial issue. Yet, the news could go in other directions too. Google is the largest, yet not the only player in town, as people seem to focus on marketing and presentations, we see IBM and to the smaller extent Microsoft and we all forget that Huawei is moving up in this field and it is gaining momentum. The cloud data centre in Peru is only a first step. It is only the arrogance of Americans that seem to think that this field is an American field. With Peru, India and China, Huawei is now active on a global scale. It has hired the best of the best that China has to offer and that is pretty formidable, There is no way that Huawei could catch up with Google in the short term, yet there services are now in a stage that they can equal IBM. As we see a race for what is now at times called the IoT landscape, we see the larger players fight for the acceptance of ‘their IoT standard’, and even as we see IBM mentioned, we see clearly that Google has a large advantage in achievements here and is heading the number of patents in this field, as Huawei is pretty much accepting the Google IoT standard, we see that they can focus on growth surpassing IBM, Qualcomm and Intel. In this Huawei will remain behind Apple in size and revenue, but as it is not in that field in a true competitive way Huawei might not consider Apple a goal, yet as they grow in India, Huawei could surpass the Tata group within 2 years.

So how does this matter?

As we see the steps (the not incorrect steps) of Elisabeth Denham, the acts as we saw in the Guardian on how regulators are trying to muzzle and limit the growth and activities of Google, how much influence do they have with Huawei? Even as we see that Huawei is privately owned, there have been a few articles on Ren Zhengfei and his connection to the Chinese military. It has spooked the US in the past, and consider how spooked they will get when Huawei grows their service levels in places like Greece, Spain and Italy? What will the EU state? Something like “your money smells, we will not accept it“. No! The EU is in such deep debt that they will invite Huawei like the prodigal son being welcomed home. So whilst everyone is bitching on how Google needs to be neutered, those people allow serious opponents and threats to Google’s data future to catch up. Huawei is doing so, one carrier at a time and they are doing it in a global way.

So as we see all kind of confirmations from media outlets all over the world, we seem to forget that they are not the only player in town as their growth in EU nations like Spain with a new android base Set Top Box (STB), Huawei just now becomes the competitor for Telefonica, Vodafone and Orange, implying that it now has a growing beach head into Europe with decent technology for a really affordable price. In a place where they all complain on how there is no economy, Huawei is more than a contender and it is growing business where others had mere presence and sustainable levels of revenue. It is merely a contained view on how the EU regulators seem to be fumbling the ball for long term growth, whilst handing opportunity to China (read: Huawei), who will be eagerly exporting to Europe the products they can.

In all this, CoA can be seen as a mere confirmation, a Course of Action by regulators, the Court of Appeal for Google, the Cost of Application for Huawei, the Coming of Age for Business Intelligence and the Center of Attention that Google is calling on themselves, whether intentional or not does not matter. We are left with the question whether at this point, the limelight is the best for them, we will leave that to Mr. Alphabet to decide.

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30 seconds until death

That is what goes through my mind right now. What happened in the last 30 seconds, whilst American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175 were heading to their prospective targets? The people who got to call one more time, those 30 seconds. You see Greece seems to be in that very same place. Whilst Greece is under crushing debts and payments, we see ‘Greece eyes market return as debt dispute still simmering‘ (at https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/greece-eyes-market-return-as-debt-dispute-still-simmering/2017/06/28/3c3124c4-5c14-11e7-aa69-3964a7d55207_story.html). When you see quotes like “Now those so-called yields are tumbling, a real sign that investors think lending to Greece is a viable option. Once Greece is able to borrow markets in the bond markets to fund its debt repayments, then it won’t need any more bailout cash from its creditors” you would see that Greece has reach the end of the rope and the financial institutions are ready to make one more killing in bonuses before killing of Greece.

So as we read: “What happens in the longer term is still the subject of heated debate“, we do get introduced to the fact that Greece will be adding debt to the total crushing debt it already has. It reads nice that we see a feigned humane IMF with “The IMF has stayed out of the current program, Greece’s third bailout, arguing that European lenders are setting unrealistic targets for the Greek economy instead of considering more generous debt relief“, you see the issue is that the lenders are commercial institutions, the IMF is not getting involved because it is money down the drain. We all know that. As far as I can tell, the next two generations will still be in an atmosphere of not being able to have a decent life. The second part “if the gap had narrowed, Delia Velculescu, the IMF’s top official for the Greek program, said: “We’re not there yet.”” So, even as the debt gap is not being traversed, Delia Velculescu knows that it is not happening. Yet new bonds will get out. And as I was attacked on that my premise was wrong, we see “She said it was “simply not realistic” to have Greece run a budget surplus after debt and interest payments of 3.5 percent of annual GDP over the coming few years, and 2 percent for the decades after” a statement that is misrepresentative, yet from that we get some figure, when the last GDP was set at 195.2 Billion (2015), that means that Greece will need to cough up 6.8 billion annually and 3.9 billion, which is merely the interest on the outstanding debt, for decades annually thereafter and that is only if the elected individuals don’t take a shortcut and borrow themselves in a corner all over again. And all this is coming from a population of 10 million people. So how many of them are paying taxation? How much taxation remains for the infrastructure? Now that we see the fallout gone, we see that the Greeks would have been better off outside of the Euro the moment they had that option. Now it will soon become the anchor that drowns them. And as the population ages, the tax incomes will dwindle even further. From my reckoning, their best position was 2 years ago, now as the curve of retiring people increases, the Greek government are in a pickle with no actual solution. There is every consideration that being a politician or a governmental official in Greece is soon to be the least wanted job in that nation. As I see it, the Washington Post gives us a story with caution, one that is more than a drama about the death of a nation. In addition, there is one element we all forget about. The element is Cyprus. Now, there are no real hopes that the Cyprus edition gets resolved, for the mere reason that the Greek part of Cyprus ads to that Greek GDP, as such Greece would never allowed it to be independent. Turkey might be in a similar state, but here it is about Erdogan’s need for territory. None will budge an inch, so as both sides are talking (read clashing) in the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana, we have to consider how this plays out. As I see it, with the current president of Turkey, it is entirely likely that a replay of the 1974 events will happen. That truth is partially shown in a separate Guardian article where we read: “Overall there is a sense that Turkey does want a deal. It knows it could gain a lot of goodwill out of it,” one well-briefed source said. “It’s going to require patience. The Turks tend to stick to their guns until very late in the day“, that is a likely scenario. I am more in a state where I expect things to be quiet for 10 days and after that Turkey does a 180 degree on the policies they were considering or might have implied to agree with. They are hoping the rest will not go to war over the 180 as there are too many issues playing for too many other nations. Turkey is not known to be a considerate nation; the entire escalation of Qatar is evidence of that, as are their actions in Kurdish Turkey.

The next part is weirdly enough from the Express, it was not my first choice, yet they make an interesting claim that I have not seen brought out anywhere else. The title ‘ECB WARNING: EU on BRINK of being ripped apart as Greece, Spain, Portugal inequality grows‘ is a known event, yet this was always going to be the case. In addition, we see two quotes of the EU favourite spending person, Mario Draghi. He gives us “ECB chief Mario Draghi claims inequality driving problems across European Union” and “Mario Draghi has warned jobs must be created across the EU“, which is exactly why we wanted him to stop spending 60 billion a month, money that was for all intent and purposes created out of thin air. He sounds all nice making the claim that ‘jobs need to be created’, yet when there is no economy, jobs cannot be created and the Greek solution where nearly everyone works for the government is also not a solution. The final gasser is given with “Policies in single member states will also help to bridge the gap, he claimed, asking individual leaders to propose better income and wealth redistribution policies“, the man who has been the centre facilitator for large corporations and set the astronomical income for financial institutions to debate ‘wealth redistribution policies‘. I can compare it to a man walking into a brothel where all the girls ask him whether he saw their virginity, because they lost it somehow. As far as I can see it, he is raising these issues as factors that will instigate fresh recessions, this is why he claims that the “The ECB’s ultra-easy monetary policy, designed to strengthen Economic recovery, was defended by Draghi. He said super low rates create jobs, foster growth and benefit borrowers“, the entire mess is what keeps the banks running, not the people. In all this Greece is in corner wearing a dunce cap. The fact that Mario Draghi made the claim earlier this week that Greece will not join the Quantative Easing program (QE) shows that the ECB has no faith that the Greek issues will be resolved, so as I personally see it, Greece would be allowed to sell more bonds just to push the percentages up again, which is not the view of a restoring economy, merely the near death of one. They are getting out of Greece what they can before it is too late. As you will see the news that Greek bonds are back, consider the question, who will be receiving the 4% sales commission and walk away whether it collapses or not. 80 million over a 2 billion bond hike is still a lovely sum, it would keep me in Ouzo and Raki for the rest of my life, which is unbalanced in more ways as the Greek population will be left without such options for 2 generations to come.

The news actually intensifies as per today, the NY Daily News (at http://www.nydailynews.com/newswires/news/business/greece-planning-return-bond-markets-ecb-article-1.3287503) , the news has become this desperate for Greece and the Greeks. The quote “Greece will return to financing itself on international bond markets with or without the support of the European Central Bank’s bond-buying program, the country’s finance minister said Thursday”, this will merely create chaos and the moment the bods are sold, the percentages will go through the roof. So as we now read that the ECB is not giving any support to one of its members, does anyone out there still doubt the need for Brexit? In my view Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos is playing a very dangerous game and the only one he will hurt for generations is Greece and the Greeks. So when I see: “What we need to do is ensure that the investment community knows there will be a program of access to the markets”, which is delusional, because Greece is no longer a player, the previous administrations made very sure of that. Unless you find the next truly new idea, Greece is no longer a player. The Greek governments (past and present) made sure of that and the weird false information we see in some cases have been false nearly 100% of the time, this is not a great track record to rely on. The entire move of upgrading Greece to ‘Caa2’ was a mistake. I wonder when other EC governments demand that Moody presents the raw data and the findings on the entire upgrade process. How many holes can we see in that assessment? Do I need to remind you all that Moody was one of the so called ‘key enablers of the financial meltdown’? At https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/GPO-FCIC/pdf/GPO-FCIC.pdf we see: “Moody’s put its triple-A stamp of approval on 30 mortgage-related securities every working day. The results were disastrous: 83% of the mortgage securities rated triple-A that year ultimately were downgraded”, that is the same place that now upgrades Greece, whilst the last time Greece went back on the market it became a disaster and someone ended up with a 50 million bonus. So is that the source of acceptance? In all this we also see Nasdaq throwing speculative fuel on the fire with “There was some speculation about a rating upgrade, but what was really a surprise was that positive outlook, giving a chance for another upgrade” (at http://www.nasdaq.com/article/greek-10year-yields-hit-lowest-since-2009-after-moodys-upgrade-20170626-00205), so based on what is that, because Greece basically has no future, not with this debt. Can we allow the European Community to sit idly by proclaiming to be one whole continent whilst it hands out trillions of euros over these two waves of unadulterated spending? A spending that is not based on inferiority of substance, yet 100% flawed. In all that spending Greece is not considered, they must rely on the exploitative vultures of the Bonds world. As I personally see it ultimate proof that Greece is being fed to the vultures. So whilst we read about Mario Draghi mentioning ‘wealth redistribution policies‘, we see that Greece is taken out of the mix. Is that a Europe you signed up for? The United Kingdom did not and it is moving out. As France decided to trust an investment banker as president, they now lost that option to seek an actual national identity. Even as we see reports that Italy is moving away further from leaving the EU, there is no doubt that the coming year will be crucial to Italy. Apart from a collapsed banking system, the pressure due to refugees keep on upping the levels of pressure in Italy and as  such something will buckle, it is merely a question of time, yet how this will unfold cannot be stated at present, it is an unknown. No matter how this plays out, it will not make issue better for Greece, it merely will push economic opportunity down as European pressures mount, the inequality in Europe not being the smallest of issues. That view is enforced from Spain, even as the economy rises slightly, we now see reports from Madrid giving us “under-24s earned on average €11,228 gross, a 5.1% drop on the previous year. The 25- to 29-year-old range earned €16,064, a 1.6% fall on 2014, while the 30- to 34-year-old group earned €19,597, 3% less than the year before. Finally, those aged between 35 to 39 were paid €22,397, a 2.3% drop on 2014”, so as a few more people enter the work force, they end up getting less than the ones they replaced (source: El Pais). This will also drag the quality of life down more and more as the cost of living is still going up. In all this Greece is passed by on both economy and quality of life. It is another piece of evidence that the speculated foresight for Greece was wrong and incorrect and I fear for the Greeks who have to pay for the fallout that follows the next bond ‘rush’.

 

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From Qatar to the United Kingdom

The last few days have been all about the issues of elections and the gratifications some see with the Labour party. I am impressed on just how gullible people can be. It’s like the need for common sense has gone straight out of the window. The last time the Labour party pushed the UK into deep debt, now because of Austerity the people think that the Labour party will change this. So what do you think will happen when another trillion in debt is added? Its like politicians have gone crazy. Spending without accountability. When will it end? And if you think that the UK is so much better than Greece, than it is important for you to wake up fast, because the debt of the UK is well over 700% of Greece. For now, the UK is above the curve because of manufacturing, tourism, service related profits, but when that curve falls down it goes south in a hurry. Where will you be then? Most will think that it is for someone else to fix, but those short sighted people will be around when the cost of living is up by 20% whilst your income has a mere 3% correction. that is the reality of what is to come. On the other side, Theresa May has mace mistakes, she bungled the balls a few times and that is a flaw that did cost her a majority. Yet, the end is not yet in sight. If the Conservatives can set a correct dialogue with the Lib Dems, then Tim Farron will have 4 years to show he is a leader, to show that the Lib Dems matter. In 4 years whilst we get a clueless Jeremy Corbyn stating how he promises thousands of jobs whilst the treasury has no way to pay for it. Until the tax system will get a true overhaul and take care of the 0.1% tax bracket for the large corporations, there is no chance that anything will be fixed. It is a mere reality all those in the UK face. And Scotland, well they went foolish on a second referendum and 35% of Scotland decided to find another party. Yet there is also the other visibility, the game that should have never been played against the foolish move. Yes, the majority is gone, but 13 seats against the non stop media heist of the truth and playing whatever story would erupt in the most readers and emotions. That game could have given a much larger cost to the Tories by the end of the year. That is merely my view, I have no way of proving my view, which in equal measure means that I could be wrong.

So what is left? Time will tell, but the next events of the Brexit is about to be due. As we see places like the NY Times give us “It enhanced the possibility that a chastened government led by Mrs. May would now strike a less confrontational approach with Europe while seeking a way to keep Britain within the bloc’s large single marketplace“, we have to wonder who is facilitating who? With the additional quote “The European authorities have consistently emphasized that Britain’s continued inclusion in the single market requires that it abide by the bloc’s rules — not least, a provision that people be allowed to move freely within its confines“, this is part of the problem, because it is showing to be unrealistic and the other players, none of them want certain people. They are so happy that all those travellers believe that the UK is the golden dream. When those people end up somewhere else, we are confronted with over half a dozen members who see their own infrastructure collapse. There is Austria with new anti-migrant measures, with ‘protective zones‘ and a whole lot of other issues. The less said about Greece the better, what is a given is that they are under such stress that their reactions make sense, yet most of those illegals don’t even want to be in Greece, they are just passing through. The Albanians being one of the larger illegal immigrant groups is giving the impression that Albania is empty. Bulgaria is setting up barbed wired fences. Those people all howling for free movement are all trying to get rid of the problem. The open borders have failed, only for large corporations needing zero hour workers, they prosper. And those in ‘charge’ in the European Union play their game, their defiance in support of the gravy train. And then we see a new quote, one that gives rise to certain media playing the game they are. “In short, the election has complicated the assumption that Britain is headed irretrievably toward the exits, producing a moment in which seemingly everything may be up for reconsideration“, this was the game all along. those behind the screens, those deciding on the flow of trillions, they need their 34% profit annually, without the UK where it is now, that is no longer an option and the voice of Italy is still not a given at present. So when you read: “Those who have favoured Britain remaining within Europe, or at least softening the terms of its exit, now have “an expectation, or at least a hope, that cooler heads will prevail,” said Jeremy Cook, chief economist at World First, a company based in London that manages foreign exchange transactions.” Is it cooler heads, or greedy heads? There is cause for consideration that a hard Brexit was never a good idea, but as the EU cannot muzzle or chastise Mario Draghi, the EU is becoming too dangerous a place to remain in. It gives additional cause for concern as the deep web has a speaker who has been advocating the need for targeted killing of certain finance officials. I am not sure that this is a good idea, but prosecuting politicians who cannot maintain a neutral budget is not a bad first step. the problem is that Strasbourg is more about protecting terrorists and their rights than it is to protect victims of exploitation, because extremists hiding behind laws is often easier than doing the right thing for the victims they create.

The dark web has a good thing, it lets me see some elements completely unfiltered, yet you get it all, all the hypes, the rages, the ragers and the emotions, you need to learn to filter the values. Which is at times a lot harder than you think. So when you dig beyond grams and the easy access to drugs and weapons, you could find a few places that offer an option to those willing to be tools for a little while. the payoff is extremely large, yet that also beckons what the facilitators get. You see, getting a 7 figure number buys silence, yet in that view, what will the payer get, what is worth facilitating a 7 figure reward for? Some of these offers are getting louder and more frequent. This implies (highly speculative) that there is a hole in the net and certain entrepreneurial players are going whilst the going is good. Several addresses offered even more since the elections, implying that as there is a hung UK government the going is better. I am speculating that there is a finance hole that can be exploited for now, it is speculation, but it is all I have for now. These people are so paranoid that it makes Alexander Bortnikov a mere naive and trusting teenager, an interesting version of the director of the FSB, don’t you think?

We need large changes and throwing money at it will not yield the people anything, merely deeper debt. It is for that reason why I refuse to trust Jeremy Corbyn. Yet these issues are on one side, the other side is equally an issue and equally a problem, also for the UK. Qatar is now in a different place. It started yesterday with ”There is no trust’: Gulf states give up hope on Qatar’  (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jun/09/qatar-united-arab-emirates-diplomacy). This is not that unexpected, but that we see actions by UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt gives rise to more extreme measures. Qatar is now surrounded by people who have had enough of them. As we realise that the quote “Omar Saif Ghobas, the United Arab Emirates’ ambassador to Russia, one of the most eloquent exponents of UAE thinking, insisted the new anti-Qatar alliance was not planning a military invasion or externally enforced regime change. Instead, he said Qatar had a history of internal regime change, implying the UAE would welcome the removal of the emir” with in addition “It is Turkey that is militarising the position“, we now see a first move where Turkey has become a much stronger problem for Europe. And some of the EU players were so adamant in getting Turkey added, even as there were several cases clearly shown that Turkey should not have been allowed into the EU or NATO. So where are those advocating to add Turkey now? They should be placed into the limelight and be held publicly to account. The two key supporters were Poland and the UK. So here we see the issue with Boris Johnson. How could he have been so stupid to get on that unreliable horse? As we see Turkey go off base more and more, the higher the need for Boris Johnson to seek another job and get a haircut. Is that a fair assessment?

Qatar has been a problem for a while now and when you see 4 nations who at present prefer to do business with Israel instead of Qatar, we can honestly state that there is an escalating issue in the region and Turkey is making it worse. Now, wee look at the news we got 6 hours after the initial news (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jun/09/qatar-crisis-grows-as-arab-nations-draw-up-terror-sanctions-list), where we now see: ‘Qatar crisis grows as Arab nations draw up terror sanctions list‘, it starts with “Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies have sanctioned a dozen organisations and 59 people it accuses of links to Islamist militancy – a number of them Qataris or with links to Qatar – escalating the diplomatic crisis in the region“, which is a mere way to appease the neutrality of our palette. You see, the news is not just on “increased military cooperation with Qatar, including the potential deployment of Turkish troops“, I think that the ‘support’ has been going on a little longer than we think. It is my speculative believe that someone in Qatar has been facilitating Kurd intelligence to Turkey in some way. For a price Turkey got information and this has been a facilitating event. I cannot prove in any way the idea that the counts that Turkey offers is highly overstated and in fact, their attacks are not as successful. It is the way that we see some of these events reported, that is why I questions some of the numbers. Here I could easily be wrong, so don’t take my word on that.
The reason to mention it is because Turkey is following another pattern, Qatar is so out of the way, it makes no sense to get on the wrong side of Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt, at present I cannot state whether the Turkish military are going insane or that there is another play in action. What is a given is that this will escalate further and it will impact Europe as well! To what degree remains an unknown for now.

So, as we go into a theatre mode, let’s go with ‘Pigs in Space’, we have to narrate towards the next episode with: ‘Tune in next week when we see Boris Johnson getting a haircut, and as the man behind health states, would you like to be in charge, does he have the £350m a week entrance fee? And when the head nurse needs some elevation, will The Lord Newby, also known as Baron Newby et a Saudi Nurse? That and more is answered next week in Piiiiiiiiigs in Spaaaace’ Yes, that was mildly entertaining, but it gives reference to a part many might have missed in the Guardian last week. The article ‘The Qatar spat exposes Britain’s game of thrones in the Gulf’ (at https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jun/05/qatar-spat-exposes-britains-game-of-thrones-gulf-paul-mason). It has more information than you bargained for. We can all hide behind “Britain cannot solve the diplomatic crisis in the Gulf. But it can stop making it worse”. You see, it all sounds good and gravy, but over the decades’ nations made alliances, they made choices and some those are long term. In addition, is the UK better off staying out of it, or try to get a result that fits the needs of the United Kingdom? That is the question is it not? We either align or we let others dictate future global events. Saudi Arabia is a global player, Qatar is not. Some choices are hard and in this Labour is very valid in making a different choice, that cannot be held against them, what can be held against them is them thinking that there will not be long term consequences. That is just utter stupidity on a podium. That is the play, that is the game, so as we align with some and align wrongly with some, we cannot just move towards the others stating, lets play a game. We either commit or state openly that Turkey is a clear and present danger to Europe and the European way of life and let the chips fall where they may. I wonder how quickly some politicians (read Jeremy Corby) spin that in any direction away from them at the drop of a hat. So is one view hypocrite, the other view, or are we considering that electing hypocrites into office comes at a price we all have to pay for?

Just sit down and consider that one. That is after you contemplate the meaning of Mario Draghi’s ‘policy normalisation’ and what it is about to cost you. So have a lovely weekend and enjoy a nice slice of cake on Monday!

Long live the Queen!

 

 

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Actively  Missing direction?

The daily star is giving us (at http://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/politics/618722/Who-should-I-vote-for-in-the-General-Election-quiz-Conservative-Labour-Lib-Dem) a nice little questionnaire on who to vote for. I tend to have mixed feelings on these polls, but curious as I am, I took the list and behold, my choice was known and it was my direction. Yet, there are still issues on the questionnaire. You see, it’s fun, and perhaps those who do not know who to vote for should take it to get a general direction, but still there are issues. So let’s take a look at these 15 questions. Yet, this is as you will see the beginning of a much larger issue. What is beneath the surface is a combination of inaction, denial and delay. We are all plagued by the inactions of politicians and we have to pay for their ‘non-choices’. Let me take you on a tour explaining that.

  1. There should be a second Brexit referendum on the terms of the deal.
    Really? There was a referendum and the brits decided to move out. So let’s get on with it! Politicians, especially the sore losers want to turn this all around. I would state because they are sore losers. The last year has been about fearmongering on several levels and even my own party is not innocent here.
  2. Immigration to Britain should be reduced over the next five years.
    Why? Well, I went with never mind, because some might like a reduction on several fronts, yet in the end, we need to think long term, keeping immigration stable seems like a good thing, reducing it? Perhaps it is, perhaps not. What is clearly evident is that as Australia closed immigration and hindered it to some extent, Australia avoided the infrastructure collapse after the 2008 financial crises, if Australia had allowed for the boosted Silicon Valley growth option, the Australian infrastructure would have been in deep trouble and their version of the NHS (Medicare) would not be around today, that part is pretty much a given.
  3. There should be a Bank Holiday on each patron saints’ day.
    I think we have enough bank holidays at present. We could go to the old days (before 1950) when a bank holiday also implied a mandatory visit to the church; you still game at that point?
  4. More selective grammar schools should be opened in the UK.
    I have never ever seen ‘selective’ schooling to amount to anything but excessive pressure on students, that is just a really bad idea. Also, selective schooling tends to imply that certain elements are removed from schools. I believe that the wider and more generalist grammar school is, the wider the development of the student. That has always been a good idea, especially as today’s children in a grammar school will enter the workplace with technologies that we at present haven’t designed yet. So whatever selectivity they now face, the harder some adjustments tend to be.
  5. Key industries such as railways, water and energy should be nationalised, funded by higher taxes.
    This is a real Labour question. This is one of those dangerous questions as the element missing here is that this step alone will drive the UK into deeper debt, a cost that will exceed a quarter of a trillion pound. That is not a good idea at present. The option to nationalise part is not a bad thing, but the UK coffers are empty, a blatant fact Jeremy Corbyn ignores as his promises are all based on the need to drive debts up. Which will be an issue the next two generations will have to pay for, how irresponsible is that?
  6. Britain must help defeat ISIS militarily in Syria and Iraq to tackle the threat of terrorism.
    I believe we should commit to that, we were part of the start, the UK way of life is in danger within the UK. So stomping out those dangers is a clear need. No matter where we need to go to fight it and as it stands at present, with ISIS growing on the Philippines, Opening a large UK base in Darwin, where the ladies are underdressed, the man are overdressed, the sand is warm and the animals are deadly is not out of the question at present.
  7. Older people with more than £100,000 to their name should help pay for social care
    I am not certain here. I would state don’t mind, but we need to see how fair it is. Older people who worked their entire life, saved up, and now get to retire, but because they did well they get additional bills is not really that fair is it? The question is dangerous as the term ‘should help pay’ could be higher premiums, less options or loss of certain pension rights, might be in play and none of these are fair on those people. There are options to barter on certain parts, but in the end, £100,000 is not that much anymore. Look at your annual food bills to realise that impact. I see that there are issue here.
  8. Wealthier pensioners should not automatically receive the winter fuel allowance.
    Impacts on the previous question and here I agree. I see the winter fuel allowance for those in the lowest income groups, there is no validity on them having to live in the cold, decimating their health. This is where I saw the ‘option to barter’ in the previous question. In this case the winter Fuel allowance is for those in the lowest and no income groups, we have a duty to shield them.
  9. Businesses should pay more in taxation to help fund public services.
    A sound ‘yes!’ is clearly reverberating on the grassy hill. The bulk of large businesses are ‘blessed’ with too low taxation. Having all corporations see an increase of 1% with a clear maximum to fund infrastructures is not the worst idea. There should be a clear max as it is equally unsound to have places like Apple, Acorn, Amazon et al pay an additional 1% of their total revenue, we would like that, but we also must acknowledge that this is not fair either.
  10. Britain should have up to date nuclear weapons.
    Are you flipping kidding me? They work, they go mushroom-boom, and it will be the end of it all. Having them updated is merely wasting money to me. Replacing them if they are obsolete is another question. I remain committed to lower the nuclear arsenals over all. Wasting money on up to date nuclear weapons gets zero consideration from my side.
  11. Income tax should be increased for everyone to free up money for the NHS.
    Again, I agree, but it is a dangerous question, because people are pretty much taxed to the max. In my view that would be an option, only if the 0% group goes up by £1200-£2000 per annum. I would have done the offset by increasing layer 2 by 2% and layer 3 by 1%, giving us a little more whilst leaving the lowest group with more. Changing that to layer2 a 3% increase and a layer3 a 2% increase is fine with me. That would require that all the added taxation goes straight to the NHS.
  12. Britain should borrow more money to invest in the economy and abandon the aim of cutting the budget deficit.
    This is another Labour question. Absolutely not! Investing in the economy is a farce from certain people with diminished mind capacity. There is evidence all over the place that this does not work and abandoning the deficit cutting is an even louder no. I am all in favour of imposing mandatory jail sentencing for any politician who is not keeping the deficit in check, which pretty much adds to the fuel of dumping Corbyn in jail for the rest of his life if he is elected and starts nationalising anything.
  13. Students should be able to attend university for free.
    Not merely for the superstitious. I don’t mind, yet the reality is that this is no longer a feasible solution. In some nations this still happens (Germany and Sweden), but they have a very different social and income structure. Germany has a massive manufacturing side, the industrial area that is the envy of entire Europe and Sweden has a social structure and super taxation. Also Sweden is a mere 10 million people. When a nation surpasses a certain size, the solution of free education and certain infrastructures are no longer a solution, it will be a millstone hanging around the neck of the treasurer. It is lovely to offer it when it is a clear option, for the UK that is no longer the case and might never be an option again.
  14. Cannabis should be legalised and taxed.
    The one Lib Dem side that I can live with, legalising it, taxing it could be a solution, especially as the war on drugs is a complete waste of resources as there is no solution and that war cannot be won. There is the option that it could lower the amount of people into hard drugs. This is an option, yet the opposition claiming that once into soft drugs, the jump to hard drugs is massively lower and more easily walked into. That view is equally valid as I personally see it. There is not enough data to prove or disprove any of the paths. The willingness to consider it is perhaps not a bad idea. Yet in equal measure, as binge drinking cannot be controlled, offering legal cannabis in the field remains a controversial option. The fact that this would be taxed is good for the coffers, yet in equal measure, making the NHS pay for it might be another side that should be barred. Setting the field of healthcare regarding narcotics to private insured or paid up front is not the worst idea to have.
  15. More police officers should be recruited to make Britain’s streets safer.
    Yes, the final question is a dangerous one. Who pays for it? Labour offering it as a promise whilst the budget cannot pay for it remains an issue. In addition, in light of the size of increase, there is no evidence that this would make the streets safer. The fact to guarantee that change is the amount of police increase that is just slightly short of absolutely bonkers. Nice to have, but not realistic.

So, these are the 15 questions and they are good ones, yet in a few cases, the changes we want or do not want also have a cause and effect beneath the waterline. The Titanic made that mistake once (well actually the person at the wheel), so we need to take mind of what lies beneath and that part is not always clear to the persons basing their decision on merely this quiz. Still it could be path to take and then look deeper at the party that came out on top. Just be aware of the issues we see and the issues that we cannot see. That is not an attack or criticism of whoever made the quiz. It is merely the consequence of a world that is slightly more complex than we think it is.

And as we see the international impact, when we hear Mario Draghi state: “still requires substantial stimulus” (source Hong Kong Standard), when we see how much deeper in debt the UK is set because no one has the ability to muzzle Mario Draghi, when we get additional noises from other sources that change of this policy is needed, we should question the validity of the Eurozone and the ECB. This fuels now the issues in the elections of Italy as the Central Bank of Italy is now stating loudly: “leaving the euro zone would not solve the country’s economic problems“, which is actually quite true, yet the Italian woes are so intense that staying in might not be preferable to Italy. It might be better off trying to float itself back into business. That is my own unrealistic view. Yet in all this, those before have made the entire mess just too large. The dangers I warned France about are now becoming the one issue that three players are dreading. The quote “The right-wing Northern League wants to pull Italy out of the euro zone, and the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement, which some opinion polls say is now the country’s most popular party, wants to hold a referendum on the issue” is giving us two things. The unrealistic growth of Northern League, headed by Matteo Salvini remained unrealistic, yet Beppe Grillo and his Five Star Movement is another matter, him growing to the extent he did, was not foreseen by me and ignored by too many others. If these two could strike a deal of cooperation, especially if the Italeave referendum result is not one France wanted to face. Because in the previous scenario it left the Euro to Germany and Italy, with the bag in the hands of Germany and France (if Italeave prevails) becomes another matter, it would become an actual fight between those two nations on how to proceed and that would be disastrous for France. The initial downturn of Frexit would be noticeable, yet the downturn when Italy leaves and France gets hit by the swells would show a severity in excess of 250%, it would become a game changer. So as Emmanuel Macron wanted a Eurozone in an age of dangers, whilst Brexit is proceeding, Italy might force the issue under a timeline that neither France nor the UK wanted. That is the consequence of dragging your heels!

Now, as the election must be before 20th May 2018, the later this happens the better for the other players, but their intent of remaining in denial is a bit of an issue for all the players. So those who hid behind ‘What if we play it in such a way so that we don’t have to decide?‘ are now optionally placed in the mortal dangers of getting pointed at as the vile dangerous beasts they forever were. So as the Italian elections are likely to be within the next 5 months, we will see a new scenario unfold. Italy is now becoming much stronger in its ‘reduce deficit’ messages, yet as I see it, that delay is about 5 years too late. In addition, when we realise the intentional misrepresentation of “Visco said Italy must focus its energies on bringing down its huge public debt, the highest in the euro zone after Greece’s at around 132 percent of gross domestic product” is pretty hilarious when you consider that the Greek debt is 336 billion, whilst the Italian one is 2.2 trillion. So the Italian debt is 700% larger than the Greek one. Yet the Italian population is merely 560% larger giving a much larger debt per person. We do recognise that the economy of Italy is vastly better as roughly 99.9945% of the financial world executives wants a Ferrari, a Lamborghini or a Maserati. That is some, most want one of each, and at least these people have actual money to spend. In all this the larger issue is partially avoided if Grillo denies any actions with Salvini. No matter how the Northern League grows, they are nowhere near the size that they need to be to become the major player and lucky for those disliking the far right, Salvini lacks the charisma Farage has, so there is that working against Northern League too. A reality is that as Renzi and Grillo are close to one another, the dangers of a hung government is actually not that far stretched, which gives options to alignment with people like Speranza and Alfano. So as we continue to cater to the ‘next elections’ we need to consider that UK inaction will also act against them down the road (as well as the UK itself). In all this, some players behind the screens have been hoping for that scenario to come, yet I predicted that in the worst case scenario Italy will force the hand of the others, which is now an actual reality. With the public debts to be too large, with the government is massive deficit and with Italy trailing in the economy, being pushed into deeper debt by Mario Draghi is an option most are rejecting. This is now an issue as the talking duo Draghi & Visco would go straight out of the window the moment Grillo wins. That does not mean that the game is over at that point, the official referendum in Italy would still need to be held, but that is at that point only a mere timeline to adhere too. In all this the UK needs to step up its game, because when Italy forces the issue, the UK will lose too much and they would have to give in in several other fields. In this, that would be the good side in all this.

You might wonder how this reflects on the UK election quiz. You see, questions 1, 2, 9, 12 and 13 all influence international links. Q9 could drive some business out of the UK, whilst Q2 and Q13 are an optional source of influx into the UK. A changed European field would also impact all the issues in the UK and as that field changes having clear trade deals would be essential. Yet as my pun intended comment was set at, the Italian car industry will agree to any deal that gives them trade space, so there we see recognition. Also as the job market sees shifts, international workers see changed places of interest. None of this is news, but as we hear the non-relenting cries of Brexit, Bremain and new referendums demanded on setting another chance to Bremain. Yet now there will be a price, these people laughed as a former investment banker became president in France and is now advocating a stronger Eurozone and his ‘proclamation’ of demanding reforms of the European zone has been thrown into a drawer and might never return. Yet Italy is another matter, is it not? The Italians have two parties where one is anti-Europe and the largest one now states that a referendum will happen, that whilst the Italian quality of life has been stagnant for a decade. Overall there is no way to see how that goes, because there is not too much data on the size of these groups. The largest issue is the refugee stream into Italy. That danger is fuelled as we see that Italy is the closest destination for anyone from Tunisia and Libya. With 300,000 refugees in dire desperation, their attempt to get out has only Italy on the menu. In addition the massive shift of African refugees from several places as they all head for Libya, hoping to get to Europe from that beachfront. So as Italy gets a larger and larger stream of refugees, the Italian infrastructure is collapsing more and more (read: under severe stress). Those losing out on essential infrastructure needs will blame whomever they can. The UN has no contingency plan, Italy is buckling under the stress in a few fields and this drives right wing support more and more. If Salvini was a more charismatic person, the drama would be massively larger. So thank the heavens for small favours in all this, one could state. All this also impacts on the UK front, you see, the dangers of deeper debts (like nationalising services) will leave the UK with less and less options. That tends to be the issue with draining towards debts, a lesson Jeremy Corbyn seemingly never learned. The UK should remain business friendly, yet the level of tax avoidance that is currently an option needs to be removed. Corporations need to realise that the party is over; they need to pay their fair share. Nobody denies their valid need for profits, I am merely curious as to what some define as ‘fair’. I remain in opposition of Corbyn who wants to tax them to the age of the Flintstones; I prefer a little more subtle approach where they must pay an honest share. Tax reform is essential here, whilst the people need to realise that Return of Investment is the large equaliser, if the ROI drops too much, they will find other shores and over that thought, the loss of jobs would quickly vastly increase. We might not care too much over financial services, but when it affects manufacturing, the drain will be a lot larger and much wider for longer.

So as we consider the moves that were offered by banks, by mergers and above all the adaptation of Dr Seuss to adapt the readability of what the Bank of England offers, I will take their advice, yet the question becomes, will the voter get this message clearer? Well, the bank with the Cat (Credit Assured Termination) might see it to as a way to flam the flim and get us ‘a story’ in a way, more digestible, yet will it be comprehensible? So as we consider “Romer told staff of the Development Economics Group to write more clearly and succinctly, limiting the use of the word “and.”“, we would want to consider that ‘and’ is the form of inclusion, it seems that it is about clarity of the services and deals offered.

Just like the quiz with 15 questions, it might be fun and it might give us an idea, yet the danger is that anything linked and underlying is now not clearly seen so we tend to trivialise the matters at hand. We forget why it is too dangerous to nationalise services that have been ‘vultured’ in the private sector. We forget that we would love to have all the social perks for every yet that requires the Treasury to have filled coffers, something that stopped to be a reality a decade ago and the politicians of today are vastly in denial of all the wasteful spending, promising all kinds of hires, but they cannot account for the costs of it.

So let’s take a little sidestep using Dr Seuss before the final part is shown. (apologies, WordPress sucks when it comes to table elements).

Jeremy Cobyn Tim Farron Theresa May
I am Voter
Voter I amThat Voter-I-am
That Voter-I-am!
I do not like
That Voter-I-am

Do you like
Corbyn with SPAM

I do not like him,
Voter-I-am.
I do not like
Corbyn with SPAM.

Would you like Corbyn
Here or there?

I would not like Corbyn
Here or there.
I would not like Corbyn
Anywhere.

I do not like
Corbyn with SPAM.

I do not like Corbyn,
Voter I-am

I am Voter
Voter I amThat Voter-I-am
That Voter-I-am!
I do not like
That Voter-I-am

Do you like
Farron with Jam

I do not like him,
Voter-I-am.
I do not like
Farron with Jam.

Would you like Farron
Here or there?

I would not like Farron
Here or there.
I would not like Farron
Anywhere.

I do not like
Farron with Jam.

I do not like Farron,
Voter I-am

 

I am Voter
Voter I amThat Voter-I-am
That Voter-I-am!
I do not like
That Voter-I-am

Do you like
May with Lamb

I do not like her,
Voter-I-am.
I do not like
May with Lamb.

Would you like May
Here or there?

I would not like May
Here or there.
I would not like May
Anywhere.

I do not like
May with Lamb.

I do not like May,
Voter I-am

 

This now gets us to the final part in all this. The ISIS escalations as Russia launches an attack, as we see the issues in the Philippines, we read “Teenage ISIS fighters are said to be shooting people dead for failing to quote the Koran“. In addition we see one source give us “Islamic State has issued a chilling call to its followers to use online classified websites such as Gumtree and E-bay to lure unsuspecting people to their deaths” In all this I remember the movie Eye in the Sky, a gem with no one less than Colin Firth as one of three producers, and a movie that is another Alan Rickman gem, as well as stellar performances from all the other cast involved. You might think, that because it involves Kenya and Somalia, you feel removed, but the movie achieves quite the opposite. In addition, it shows the players in a really bad light. Some hiding behind the collateral damages option. Yet the direct impact is seen early, the dangers that two suicide vests give, the three top players in terrorism and the delays we see. Some would think of Manchester, yet when we see these vests with the amount of C-4, we see hesitation of a pilot for one small girl, yet the two suicide bombers would be able to kill hundreds. In addition we see a political delay. The one issue we are confronted with today in real life is shown with: “James, the legal argument is that we could wait but that we need not wait. The military argument is that we should not wait”.

So even as we see the unfolding of ‘need not wait‘ and ‘should not wait‘ hundreds of lives are basically endangered. Now, this is a movie setting, yet the reality of ISIS, now a clear issue in Philippines, we see the effect of pushing issues forward. The acts on Brexit, on debts and on how the effect becomes when inaction forces us down a very different path. France had every right to make its choices, yet when Italy makes another path by actively choosing to leave, France will not be allowed to cry, they only have themselves to blame, that same issue plays in the UK, as some are trying to undo, trying to push forward and to remain in denial, we see that the push from other players will remove options the UK has down the road, yet the politicians decided to play their version of Eye in the Sky by claiming ‘we need not decide’ whilst the other player will decide leaving no options to choose from. As ISIS is changing the game on several fronts, some out of desperation, the end result is the same; we are all left with fewer options. Soon we could face ourselves in a mandatory ‘boots on the ground’ in several ‘theatres of action’. Nobody wanted any of them to actually happen, but that would have required actions to have been taken long ago. Now that we see reports that ISIS attacked a resort in Manila, the game changes further, because with every non Philippine death, those governments will speak out, yet they are unlikely to act. There is the game changer, the non-acting. It will give rise to more extreme parties growing faster. So as some with political and social studies go into denial, consider the actions in Italy when several Italians get killed. How will the Salvini shift go at that moment? There is no way to predict the shift. As we see many try to appease people with talks and presentations, finding new ways to spread a message, the way that they want to spread the instilling of comprehension. A bank with Dr Seuss, others with WannaCry and violence, the UK is now facing an election where it is not merely about a message, but who will act against those willing to blow up the Manchester Arena with as many casualties as possible? In this Eye in the Sky showed a groups of decent people, yet as some found ways to not act, we see that the need to act was clear, it is that delay that aggravates more and more voters. The USA had ‘no boots on the ground’ which was made worse with the Benghazi incident. As a result the USA now has President Trump, which according some is now a place of ‘action without wisdom’. In the Philippines we now see actions without remorse or restraint. If this stops junkies and addicts, what do you think will happen in Italy later this year? Social values are only valued in places with actual wealth. That is a lesson many learned for decades as Europe waltzed into WW1 and WW2, lessons forgotten as free reign to greed was given, now we see similar issues unfold as we do not take notice of underlying issues. There are already increased actions by the Indonesian navy to stop ISIS from crossing their borders. The question is will it work and how will we all react the moment ISIS has any success in Jakarta. So as we saw “Terror attacks in the UK due to military intervention overseas, says Jeremy Corbyn“, how can his willingness to not act and not act overseas be seen as anything but disastrously dangerous?

When we see all these elements, not all linked, yet all still part of the greater whole, are we all (including me) to some degree in denial on what needs to be done? We can all agree that no body actually wants to act, but when we are forced between the options ‘act now’ or ‘react too late’. Who wants to be in the ‘too late’ team and what damage is brought whilst we all only have ourselves to blame for that?

 

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Filed under Finance, IT, Law, Media, Military, Politics

Vive la what?

France decided, Emmanuel Macron is now the President of France. I will not shout some ‘hack’ issue. I believe that France made a choice, how well the choice is, is something that the President-elect of France will have to prove to be. Not the lame statistics on how young he is. The Guardian gives us some of the optional bad news (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/may/07/theresa-may-congratulates-macron-on-victory-as-eu-breathes-sigh-of-relief) where we see: “Happy that the French have chosen a European future. Together for a stronger and fairer Europe.” No, they did not and your rhetoric only is a first piece of evidence that the EU and the ECB are considering a former investment banker to be the reason to play your games, forcing people deeper in debt and slowly turning the EU into something despicable. For the most, the article is fine. Today will be all about congratulating President Macron, whilst those shaking hands, calling the Palace or sending letters are desperately trying to get a few political punches in. That is part of the game, yet the dangers due to the greedy need of the USA is about to become actually dangerous. Marine Le Pen could have sunk those dangers, although it would come with other issues, there is no denying that. Yet the economic health is going to be a first, in that Crédit Agricole, BNP Paribas and Natixis would guard against that happening to France (after they take care of themselves and their needs), yet will it be enough? The quote that President Macron is giving now is: “I do consider that my mandate, the day after, will be at the same time to reform in depth the European Union and our European project,” Macron had told reporters, adding that if he were to allow the EU to continue to function as it was would be a “betrayal”. It sounds nice, but over time and especially as we watch delay after delay will we see if he is actually made of stern stuff. Time will tell and there is no way that it would be regarded as fair to see any initial headway until at least 10 days post forming his government. Yet there is a side we must take heed from. It is seen in the quote “he spoke out against a “tailormade approach where the British have the best of two worlds” creating “an incentive for others to leave and kill the European idea, which is based on shared responsibilities”“, this sounds nice, but responsibility also implies accountability, a side that has been absent from the EU and the ECB with ongoing lack of transparency for the longest time, in that Brexit remains a valid step.

So why do I seem to be freaking out?

That is partially true. Not because of Marine Le Pen not making it, which might have solved a few things. It is the part I mentioned yesterday with the Financial Choice Act. As a cheat sheet (at http://media.mofo.com/files/uploads/Images/SummaryDoddFrankAct.pdf)

shows us: “The Dodd-Frank Act creates the Financial Stability Oversight Council (“Council”) to oversee financial institutions“, that part is now effectively gutted from the Dodd-Frank Act. The damage goes a lot further, yet as I see it, the people in the White House have just enabled the situation that what happened in 2004 and 2008 can now happen again. When that happens the Euro will take a massive hit too. With Brexit part of that damage can be averted and in layman non diplomatic terms, we can state that as JP Morgan is getting the hell out of Brexit, the damage they could potentially cause in the near future will be on the books for the places that they go to or remain in.

One of the dangers is seen in the key principles of the Financial Choice Act. With ‘2. Every American, regardless of their circumstances, must have the opportunity to achieve financial independence;‘ we can read it in a few ways, one of them being that this is the sales pitch where the Greater Fool can invest in something, using funds that person does not have whilst endangering whatever financial future they thought they might have had. It basically opens a door to get some of the suckers’ bled dry fast. In addition with ‘3. Consumers must be vigorously protected from fraud and deception as well as the loss of economic liberty;‘, I do not see protection, I see a setting where basic protection is in place, yet as we have seen with the issue in 2008, the amount of people who lost it all whilst prosecution failed to protect the people and convict the ‘transgressors’ nearly 100% is just too stunning, and it is a lot more dangerous now as the global population has nowhere near any level of reserve of protection compared to the last time around. In addition, when larger firms start playing this game, they will drag whomever they passively claimed to protect (like retirement plans, like mortgages they held) with them.

There is another side which takes a little longer to explain. Yesterday someone tweeted an image I remembered when I grew up. You see it is all linked to what I was part of in the 80’s. I saw the application of segregation, isolation and assassination in a less nice way. It drew me back to my childhood, when I was introduced to practices by the Nazi’s in WW2 during my primary school history lessons. To identify the Jewish people, they were told to wear the Yellow Star of David. When I saw the image my thoughts started to align, unlike the puzzlement of the population at large in 1941-1943 as the star was made mandatory in several nations, the people were uncertain to the matter, with the exception of the Dutch underground who would not trust any German for even a millimetre, they were able to hide 25% of the Jews, so in the end well over 100,000 Jews were deported. From those only a little over 5,000 survived. The Dutch underground was able to keep close to 30,000 hidden, with well over 2/3rd surviving the war. Most people, would not learn of the actual fate of the deported Jews until much later, many remained in disbelief for many years after the end of WW2 in 1945. You see, it is that phase that I feel we are in now, we seem to be in disbelief as laws are past to give a sector of industry more leeway, whilst they (according to some sources) made 157 billion in profit and that is in the US for 2016. So you want to open the tap for a system that is less regulated, non-trustworthy and have shown in 2008 to embrace all greed at the expense of anyone else? How is that a good idea?

 

 

So what evidence is there?

Well, there is Senator Warren (Democrat for Massachusetts) who called it an ‘insult to families’, in addition we see “so that lobbyists can do the bidding of Wall Street“, which is still a political statement. When we see the partial part (at http://financialservices.house.gov/uploadedfiles/financial_choice_act-_executive_summary.pdf), we see “Provide an “off-ramp” from the post-Dodd-Frank supervisory regime and Basel III capital and liquidity standards for banking organizations that choose to maintain high levels of capital. Any banking organization that makes a qualifying capital election but fails to maintain the specified non-risk weighted leverage ratio will lose its regulatory relief” It is the very first bullet point and leaves me with the situation that banks have no right to relief when they take a certain path, yet they still get to gamble. I especially like the part in section 4. “Make all financial regulatory agencies subject to the REINS Act, bi-partisan commissions, and place them on the appropriations process so that Congress can exercise proper oversight.” Yet, the REINS Act only passed the Senate, yet is not law at present, in this it is called on to do what? If the Financial Choice Act is set into law before the REINS Act, the US will have a gap the size of the flipping Grand Canyon, in addition, from the McIver Institute we see the opposition from the Democrats with “The REINS bill is similar to legislation moving through congress, but with lower thresholds“, yes, that has proven to be a good idea in the past! Still it is a view of Democrats versus Republicans and it is a Republican government (House, Senate & White House), so wherever are the clear academic dangers? We get that from Mike Rothman, president of the North American Securities Administrators Association and Minnesota commissioner of commerce with “It is clearly evident that the changes contemplated by the bill would significantly undermine and compromise the ability of regulators to effectively enforce financial laws and regulations“, whilst the I saw the term “this voluntary state-federal collaborative framework“, so the collaboration is voluntary, not mandatory. In the last decade, when have we seen a proper level of protection in a voluntary state of any matter?

The beginning of the dangers are shown by the Consumerist, which took a look at version 2.0 of what many regard to be a travesty. In this we see:

  • Require the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to get congressional approval before taking enforcement action against financial institutions
  • Restrict the Bureau’s ability to write rules regulating financial companies
  • Revoke the agency’s authority to restrict arbitration
  • Revoke the CFPB’s authority to conduct education campaigns
  • Prevent the Bureau from making public the complaints it collects from consumers in its Consumer Complaint Database

The one I had a stronger issue with is the one that tosses responsible spending around. The issue ‘Remove requirements under the Durbin Amendment that guided how much credit card networks could charge retailers for processing debit card transactions‘, so basically by charging stronger on debit cards, people will see a need to pay cash or force the credit card risk on people who for several reasons prefer not to do so. In addition the restrictions to arbitration will give leeway to Financial Institutions to avoid all kinds of courts as the victims (called consumers and investors in this case) any right to hold the financial institutions to account. It is rigging even stronger an unbalanced system. Marc Jarsulic, Vice President for Economic Policy at the Center for American Progress called this ‘a system that removes protections against taxpayer-funded bailouts, erodes consumer protections, and undercuts necessary tools to hold Wall Street accountable‘, which was already an issue at present making it a lot worse. It seems that the junior workers of 2008 are now in a place where they would prefer to fill their pockets before their luck runs out. The last bit is purely speculative from my side and it might take until 2020 until I am proven correct, yet at present 2 years is a long time to await the dangers of a greed driven system to get a little greedier. It is in that that segregation from the Euro will become essential soon enough, especially as there is no one muzzling the ECB and its crazy need to spend funds that they do not have and will not have for years to come. As for the news we see appear at present on Bloomberg shows my correctness from another side. At https://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2017-05-07/a-reverse-trump-tax-plan-delivers-an-economic-miracle-in-sweden, we see how a reverse of the Trump ideal works a miracle in Sweden. Now, it sounds a little too good to be true and it is. You see, I am not against the principle that Sweden has, yet in Scandinavian terms, the Swedes are uncanny social. I once joked that a woman can get married, after a year she gets the bun in the oven and gets paid maternity leave. If she starts making buns non-stop, she will never work another day (as long as she gets pregnant immediately after giving birth), 20 years and 22 kids later, she still has an income, a sound and secure retirement fund with only one year of work. It is almost true and I admit far far fetched. Yet the social side of Sweden allows for this. Because that one person will be the utter outlier in any statistical graph. The Swedish solution works in a social educated country like Sweden. In America which fosters self-centeredness and greed, this system would be abused at the drop of any hat and the system would collapse. You see, Bloomberg does not mention, that unlike America, companies in Sweden do not shun taxation (IKEA seemingly being the exemption to that rule), which is also a huge difference. In addition, Swedish Civil Law has a sizeable extensive system of Administrative Law which would also contribute. As we see commerce in Sweden increase, the Swedes will automatically feel the brunt of that in a positive way (as I personally see it). Yet it is not all good and summer there, as Magdalena Andersson faces a vote of no confidence if certain changes are not stopped, or even more adamant, be rolled back to some degree.

It is this combined view that France is now seen as ‘Vive La what?’ It is very much on how certain banks and the ECB are called back to stop endangering the future of too many people, Quantative Easing be damned. It is in that environment that the Financial Choice Act is an upcoming danger as Wall Street gets to be in charge of how money flows, in what direction, risky or not. As for what happens between now and 202, I truly hope that I am wrong on every count, because the 2008 global losses which have been estimated to set around $15 Trillion could easily be doubled this time around. More important, as global national reserves are none existent, the impact will hit the consumers and retirees in ways that they cannot even fathom, it makes the hardship in Greece look like a cakewalk as I see it. I will happily be wrong, yet the visibility we already see at present sets me more likely than not correct, which is really scary, not just for me.

Oh and if you doubt me in this (which will remain forever valid), why have we seen massive levels of misinformation from papers with ‘NO ONE wants to risk GREXIT’ Economist says Greece bailout will go ahead to SAVE Eurozone’ (source: The Express), whilst we know that you cannot be set out of the Euro or Eurozone involuntary, and ‘saving Eurozone’ is a little strong is it not? Or the Daily Mail that gives us that Brexit is a gift to the Greeks. This is not merely a point of view, certain sources are adamant to misdirect the focus of the people, if the Euro was such a gift from the gods, misdirection would not have been needed, would it?

 

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