Tag Archives: Guernsey

Black & White are not colours

This time it was not the Guardian that got things started, it was actually a man from Birmingham, you know, the one city in the UK with an obscene amount of Ashton Villa fans. It was his sketch ‘How is this STILL a thing‘ (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XebG4TO_xss) that started it all. To appreciate what comes next, you should take a look at the video. It makes a few jabs, some actually hilarious. In the collections of laughs, there is one gem that is centre in all this. It is the mention of Ridley Scott. The quote “SCOTT: The short sharp crude answer is, I couldn’t get a film like that mounted for that kind of budget—we were $145 million, not $260 million, so that wasn’t bad– but to make Moses black and his wife Ethiopian? They never would have made the movie“. That is part of the issue, or is that part of the answer?

No matter who we want as a cast, there is still the director (the visionary) and the producer (the money man) and the producer is often not just putting his money up, but a ‘manager’ of several ‘investors’. I would like to be all in agreement and there is enough data, but is the entire issue this simple? You see, there is also something called a script and when you seek on Google, we get ‘Category: African-American screenwriters‘, which gives 80 names. Is that not part of the problem? Now, this list might be lacking in many ways, yet would any famous names be missing? Now we get something, my first step was to look for Alice walker, as I loved the movie ‘the Colour Purple’. She was not there, so I sought out the Oscars and found out that the adapted screenplay was written by snowy white Menno Meyjes, a Dutchman. Now there is no critique on that part, yet I wonder is this not part of something else? You see, my thoughts (which might be terribly wrong), was thinking that the USA has its share of really wealthy non-Caucasian people. What if they took a script, gave the option to a visionary African American director and let them rip out a true cash maker? Would it work? Let’s not forget that Hollywood is the stomping ground to a few visionary African American directors. John Singleton, Spike Lee, Melvin van Peebles, Will Smith, Forest Whittaker. There is plenty of talent there, and the list of really good African American actors and actresses would go on for quite some time. So what is stopping them?

I will give you an option, just an option, not a claim that this is the reason.

I believe that a great movie require the union of a scriptwriter and a director. If those two are not brought together the entire process sizzles from day 0. Which gets us back to the 80 African American scriptwriters. Is that truly the case? Why can’t others write about black heroes? Well, personally, from my own views as I am writing my novel, I am writing it from my point of view, my Caucasian point of view. There is no malice, no intent to stop African Americans, I have not lived as an African American, so how can I write about one, or a Mexican, a Japanese or a Chinese for that matter. I think that this is the first step in all this and it is just my view.

So what to do?

I believe that there are solutions for everything, if Will Smith can reforge I, Robot to be a success, he can pretty much do anything. Yet, how can this change the industry? This is where them billion thingamajigs come into play. A script is one thing, the money to make it a reality is another. You see, any form of visionary requires realism, it needs funding! In the set of three, the script, the producer and the director, the Director seems to be the easiest one, yet it will requires his visionary views to make the other two a reality, one that really pays off. Again, this is just my view on this.

In the first place, the American Universities. Why are they not trying to kindle the skill of artistic writing within their African American community? Perhaps they are, I do not know, but with all those Ivy leagues schools the list I saw of screenwriters is that limited?

Consider that the Writers Guild of America, East has well over 3500 full members and the Writers Guild of America, West has over 9000 full members. Now consider that (I know not the most reliable source) Wiki specifically the African-American screenwriters page shows 80 names. Now, I am the first to state that there is no statistical way that this is correct, but, the fact that not more visibility is an equal issue here. The Committee of Black Writers, part of Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW) gives us a decent amount of goods, especially when we read the report by Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies at UCLA, Professor of Sociology. You see, this is not the laughing version John Oliver brought us, this gives us an academic confirmation “The familiar story of male and white dominance told in previous Hollywood Writers Reports still characterized industry employment and earnings patterns in 2012, the last year covered in this report“, in addition we see “The earnings gap between white male writers and women writers closed considerably by 2012, while the earnings gap between white male writers and minority writers remained large“, which gets me back to the very first thought, why isn’t African American America picking up the slack on their side, pushing and promoting the work of African Americans? Now, there is loads wrong with that statement, the fact that they have to do this is one, because there is no feasible way that the non-Caucasian population lacks drive, ambition, talent or creativity.

Evidence?

Alejandro G. Iñárritu (The Revenant, Birdman), Alfonso Cuarón (Gravity), Steve McQueen (12 years a Slave) and Ang Lee (Life of Pi). This is just the last 4 years, not all winners, but all amazing achievements and none of them are of a Caucasian disposition. I believe that this is only the tip of the iceberg, you see, my issue with #oscarssowhite is not the whether it is or it is not, but the fact that Americans forget that the bulk of their revenue is no longer coming from the US, they are coming from an international community. Just to give you an indication. The 5 most successful movies of ALL TIME had the following non-US revenue (72.7%, 69.9%, 54.8%, 61% and 59%). Did I say that clearly enough? That was the non US percentage of revenue, with the top 3 surpassing 2 billion. From the earlier list there is for example 62.1% of $723M (Gravity) and 79.5% of $609M (Life of Pi), so the money is there, even when we take the US market out of the equation. So, if it is just about #oscarssowhite, why are certain steps not taken? It can’t be ‘just’ the money, because Gravity costed $100M to make, so someone walked out with a clean taxable half a billion and Life of Pi left someone with $480M in the end. So there is a clear evidence that white is not the colour of money in the end (it actually tends to be green), but the stronger reality is, is that if we accept that Hollywood is to white for its own good, there is a market worth billion out there and it only requires the right person to pick up the profits.

In my view an achievable goal if the Money Man can unite the right director to the script he deems worthy. Have I oversimplified the problem for those people?

If so, feel free to make a contribution to my Clydesdale Bank PLC account on Guernsey. You see, whilst looking into this issue, I actually came up with 3 ideas for movies. That’s excluding the novel I am writing, which is written as is, with no mindset to either publication or setting it up for a screenplay. It is just a story I came up with and I surpassed 63,000 words last month. I reckon I am half way there now, could be a third, time will tell. This is not a twist to state how brilliant I am, because I am certain that I am not, what it does refer to is that #oscarssowhite implies that those at the top of the hill are not that bright at all, which only gives further weight to the utter need, for promoting what should be referred to as the #NonCaucasianMovieWorld, one that is very likely to bring in billions, because the names I mentioned earlier are surpassing that revenue with ease. Now in realistic light, not all movies made turn out to be a Gravity or a Life of Pi, but many of them end up having paths that lead to a situation where the ROI remains close to zero, making the chance of a cash cow at some point a lot better than most could conceive. Consider the source (http://www.boxofficemojo.com/), where the top 33 (Martin Scorcese being the lowest on that list, making $1B or more (over all their movies), gives only way to more opportunity for those who can see the right path (let’s call them semi-visionaries) and it is only when we get to position 122 when the gross revenue starts dropping below half a billion. Here is my view: ‘There is no black and white, they aren’t even real colours’. There is the colour green for $$$, profit and envy, there is red for anger of not seeing the opportunity and red for those betting on the wrong horse, yet even there the list is pretty long, because Director 771 on the list is the last one making $1M or more, which is more than I will ever make in my life. Now consider the other side of the spectrum. The Razzies gave us what some perceive to be the worst movies. In 2016 that was a tie for Fifty Shades of Grey and Fantastic Four (2015), 50 shades of paint made $571M, whilst costing $40M and Fantastic 4 made $167M, whilst costing $56M. Can you believe it? Making the worst movie of the year still gets you at least $100M, I am so in the wrong line of business!

So when you decide to fight #oscarssowhite, consider in addition the massive amounts of money you could be making. For those picking up that baton, I truly hope it will bring you the wealth you dream of. Good luck!

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Rerumphobia

Somewhere between merry old England and joie de vivre France are islands, there are a few there and some actually have a population that exceeds the number of sheep (so you know it is not New Zealand we are talking about). The island has roughly 66,000 people, making it smaller than the total size of the Australian Defence Force and less people than Boston, Lincolnshire, meaning that merry old England has 304 cities larger than the population of this island.

Now that you have this collection of conversation starters, let’s get to the gritty of it all. The place I am referring to is Guernsey, a beautiful location that is caught between the island where you can order tripe with mint sauce and the main land that serves Steak Tartar. I was starting my browser to get a daily view of the Guardian and this is what got my initial attention ‘Guernsey chief minister defends anti-racism comments‘ (at http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/feb/09/guernsey-jonathan-le-tocq-defends-anti-racism-comments-islamophobia).

Jonathan Le Tocq, Chief Minister of Guernsey stated, according to ITV “they could meet many of the necessary UN requirements, such as education provision, they would not be able to guarantee the security of refugees if they came to the Bailiwick“. The paraphrase is not incorrect Jonathan stated: “…not be targeted or excluded, we’re not there and sadly that’s not possible”, this is a direct pragmatic statement.

In my view, a few players have missed the boat by a lot, let me explain. We have seen news, from nearly all sides. The quote “The protracted plight of these refugees has become an international security issue as terrorist groups have recruited from refugee camps“, which comes from Jill Goldenziel, a Harvard PHD, her article ‘Refugees and International Security‘ starts on page 3 of the attachment at the end of the article. She follows that quote with “These crises thus highlight the limits of the international refugee management system” So not only do they not know who has been going all over Europe, there is absolutely no way to know how many ISIS martyrs will be entering any given nation. That is not a scare issue, it is not an attempt to create fear; it is a visible established fact, a fact that has resonated all over the world and not just by the intelligence community. So in this case, it is Jonathan Le Tocq who brings the valid concerns here. He is more than just a man who will be celebrating the 25th anniversary of his 27th birthday next month (March 4th if you want to send him a birthday card at: Sir Charles Frossard House,  La Charroterie,  St Peter Port,  Guernsey,  GY1 1FH,  Channel Islands). He is chief Minister of an Island that is on the 305th place within the UK for population size, if we see The Right Honourable Jonathan as the Minister Chef of the Commonwealth Island of Guernsey he is not in the 305th position, he would slide down the list in a massive way.

So, can anyone show me a list of cities higher on the UK population list, with next to that name the number of refugees they have taken in? You see, Guernsey, Jersey and a few other islands have a massive problem. When things escalate, by the time help arrives, the population of that island could be decimated. When you consider the thought that this is just paranoia, consider the two attacks in Paris, a city with massive police power was left near powerless for too long a time, so how will an island with 146 policing  members deal with a threat like that? More protection? With what money?

Let’s not forget that we tend to trivialise the police at times, whilst laughing at ‘the Thin Blue Line’, we all know that the police is a lot more than Det. Insp. Derek Grim trying to defuse the threat of ‘dratsuc’, yet people deny the direct deadliness of extremism as people looked away when a French Muslim policeman Ahmed Merabet got gunned down in cold blood by extremists, because he was protecting the French people and their freedom of speech. In equal measure there is the internal fear that a wave of panic could hit the population, lashing out unjustly. None of these facts point towards racism. Fear is a strange bedfellow, causing no good wherever it is, but in all this there is the reality of that what is, so can we see the list of the 304 larger places in the UK, with the number of refugees they have taken in?

Let’s also acknowledge that 99.999% of these refugees are real refugees seeking a way out of hell, a way towards decent sleep and decent food, but over 60,000 refugees that this means that there are 60 potential terrorists. The two attacks in France only required 11 assailants, as 34,000 police agents (over 15 districts) were too late in all the points of attack. So where does the Guernsey police stand? No matter how well Patrick Rice has his ducks in a row, with a force of 134 there is a risk and it was the responsibility of Jonathan Le Tocq to voice this.

So when we see many sources that there is “Islamophobia” on Guernsey they are not correctly voicing all of the facts. For any Christian place to state there is no “Islamophobia”, in my view that state is clearly lying, we all, have forever feared the unknown. To voice this, let me ask you a question (providing you are over 33), ‘Give me three differences between Shia Islam and Sunni Islam‘, if you know that, then ask yourself, did you know this on September 10th 2001? This comes from the award winning TV series ‘the Newsroom’, but the truth is clear, non-Islam earth for the most did not have a clue regarding Islam before that fateful day. Since that moment religious extremism (not just Islamic) has been on the rise on a global scale. In my view, the political failing to make the hard calls that need to be made are still a worry today. The humanitarian tsunami has shown that an open Europe brought massive problems and the dislodgement of millions of people is draining resources and stopping actual solutions to be implemented. This means that the fear of the unknown will hit many places and isolated easier and more intense. It does not make the people of Guernsey phobic, it does make the media at large hypocritical as it played the fear card for spinning, exploitation and scaremongering for too long, in all this the readers got caught in the middle. An example is shown (at http://www.smh.com.au/comment/terror-scaremongering-threatens-our-democracy-20140919-10jcxq.html), here we see that the 2014 rehashing of all the events show that the 2005 events were massively out of focus. The quote “The evidence in the lengthy court proceedings that culminated in a Supreme Court trial in 2008 showed nothing of the sort. The reference to the Westgate Bridge had been taken out of context and was completely innocent. There was simply no evidence of a plot to blow up Flinders Street station, and the reference to the MCG was in the context of a vague conversation between two of the accused“, in addition we see “The case against these men was put by the prosecution on the basis that they did not have a terrorist target and that they had no plan in place to commit a terrorist act. Christine Nixon’s phrase, “imminent terrorist attack”, was simply wrong“, in itself this might not be seen as evidence, but the clarity is still overwhelming. We fear what we do not understand, and not many comprehend Islam, which impacts all around. So the issue from Guernsey is still there, there is still a need to address the fear, which will not happen overnight. Yet as the press gives us that Guernsey is shown as an isolated case, would Steven Morris be so kind to give us a list of the 304 larger cities and the amount of refugees they are taking in? I did like the video that Steven Morris did put online with the view of the local populous, ‘the majority are not‘, which is very true, but a tinderbox can start with as little as two people and on 78 square kilometres, 135 people (one police commissioner and his blue minions) won’t have too many options soon thereafter, no matter in what direction the escalation went.

Let’s be clear here, I expect the chance to be so extremely low that it is not funny, but can any of the officials on Guernsey take that chance?

That is the one element people forget, you see Australia might be an ‘island’, but with 132,000 km of possible beachfront property, that little ‘island’ has a circumference equalling three times the earth. Unless you actually lived on an island (the size of Guernsey), the issue of island safety tends to elude us all. A side not clearly shown in the article, or by a massive amount of sources for that matter.

In the end, the clear refugee registration failure is part of all this. The nations of entry have missed the ball on a Titanic scale here which, under the sheer amount of refugees is not that much of a surprise, but it does give the UK now its own set of problems. Which gets us to one of the other reasons we get from being an island. ‘A lack of infrastructure and support services to help them‘, is not just a valid issue, it is a massively large one.

So as we await the list of 304, lets contemplate the wisdom of places a clearly limited group in the one place where they end up getting isolated from the other refugees (the 99.99999% that will not be placed on Guernsey), does that step make any sense at all? to end all this, lets shine a little light on a Guardian article from November 19th 2015 (at http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/nov/19/syrian-refugees-in-america-fact-from-fiction-congress), there at the end we see “Since 2012, the US has accepted 2,174 Syrian refugees – roughly 0.0007% of America’s total population“, the article does show that the UK is staying behind in all this, which is not a good thing, but the UK is an Island, it comes with a setback, yet compare this now with the mainland (the graphic at the end of the article is very illuminating). Nations like France, Norway and Poland might not have done a lot, but they are on par with the ENTIRE United States of America, the fact that a nation like the Netherlands has taken 260% of what the USA has accepted makes the Guernsey debate a joke! That flaming, below sea-level, clog wearing nation called the Netherlands, a nation that is roughly 65% the size of the state of West Virginia, so shall we ignore the issue that is exaggerated regarding Guernsey and look at the issues why this is a global problem (apart from the valid reason of registration)?

So for those moving to Guernsey enjoy the fact that the weather at St. Peter Port will be a high between 5 and 14 degrees Celsius, so those people will face a few more shocks, not just cultural ones. Rerumphobia, ‘the fear of facts’. The final part to consider is the price tag. This costs, which no one ignores. That is a good thing, yet of all the options Jonathan, the words we could go broke was not one of them. So when you look at http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-guernsey-35546424, consider that these numbers have been known for a little while now. So as tourism goes down, business visitors down by 39%, what do you think will happen next to those missing out? What will happen to the Guernsey business on that scale? In addition Tourism is set to be down by 7.8%, how will that impact retail? All elements that are a reality, when we see ‘Der Spiegel’ reporting “Some mayors have cancelled the contracts of tenants in publicly owned apartments in order to house refugees“, which is not the whole story, but a reported fact, we realise that Germany is in a decent economical position, with plenty of space, yet the pressure that 500K refugees are pressing on a population of 80 million, gives us that 0.00625%. So here we are, not confronted by “Islamophobia”, but with the underlying issues, of resources and needs, which will pressurise any situation.

As I said, let’s see how many refugees the larger 304 locations of the UK are taking on, before we start accusing smaller places by taking text out of context.

 

goldenziel_refugees_and_international_security__2010

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Intimidating the Euro

There have been several issues in the past, some we seem to embrace as ‘dangerous’ towards the survival of the Euro, some less so. There has been a detectable increase (including from myself) into the events as they are occurring. Yet, any nation, has forever had moments of bad news, so why are we so eager to predict the downfall of a united coin?

You see, we all agree that there will be good times and times that are less so, yet in all this a level head should prevail. This means that there is balance. Nations tend to float their coin when things are poor and as decent times return, that floatation option dissipates. As nations were balanced, these waves still happen, but they were less extreme. Which meant that there were currency cycles, which is not a mystery!

So when the Euro came, a stronger more balanced currency became the global player, with a few ‘visionaries’ claiming that this is the haven of all currency. In that regard, let’s take a look at Rasul Shams (at http://ageconsearch.umn.edu/bitstream/26228/1/dp050321.pdf), a discussion paper from 2005. Here we see “One of the basic statement of a full developed theory of world money is that the world economy exhibits a specific structure, which is changing through time and that the world money adjusts to these specific characteristics of the world economy and underlies therefore itself large-scale changes in the long run. To understand the development of the world money and any long-range modification in its manifestation through time one has therefore first to study the dynamic stability of the world economy” (page 6). On Page 14 we get “Kenen (2002) and McKinnon (2002), both looking on the use of Euro in trading, bond issues, bank liabilities and official reserves, appreciate the strong role of Euro as an international currency but do not believe, it could be in a position to displace the central role of the Dollar. McKinnon refers to the reinforced Dollar standard by the ongoing price stability in the United States as the main reasons why the Dollar supremacy will continue“. In addition we see “Hartmann and Issing 2002; Huismann, Meesters and Oort 2000; Beckmann, Born and Kösters 2002), looking at the evolving international role of the Euro come to the conclusion that the Euro has indeed a great potential to expand further its international role but that this will be a long run process, not to be realised in the near future“. Now we get the first issue.

You see, certain players behind the screens must have made certain events happen to flow the Euro against the dollar as the 2004 crash became a reality. Now consider that the initial European Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM) was introduced somewhere before 1980 to reduce exchange rate variability and achieve monetary stability in Europe. In that system the currencies were still floated to the minimalistic degree, depending on the local economy. So when the Euro became the coin, that game changed. Suddenly nations lost their personal flotilla device. Now for the larger economies like France, Germany and the United Kingdom it was not that much of an issue. There was a degree of control. The UK had even more options as they remained to keep a sterling position. The other players were however in a less favourable position. They now had other issues to deal with. As those nations all got an interesting credit card, we saw a growing problem. Greece and Ireland being the larger problems, but in no way the most deadly of them. That part must be reserved to Italy and France. The EEC has a total ‘national’ debt of well over 12.5 trillion. With 50% of that debt belonging to Germany, France and Italy. Germany was until recently safe, because their economy was decent and their unemployment rate was below 5%, this is now changing through several parts. The Germans have many sides to their economy, yet when we read that the Deutsche Bank posted a €6.8 billion loss in 2015, thanks to a €12 billion write-down linked to litigation charges and restructuring costs, and it set aside more to cover any potential litigation (at Read more: http://www.afr.com/markets/deutsche-banks-troubles-unmask-bigger-risks-20160203-gmken9), we see new dark clouds. Apart from the DB shares going down to 10% of what they were before the financial crises, we must wonder what other effects are in place. Here is part of the problem. We can state on one side that one hiccup like that should not be a worry, but the economy in Germany is having a slow start. In addition as other nations are showing a slowing need for Deutsche Grundlichkeit, they are looking for alternative providers, cheaper providers, which is a given. Now add the VW scandal, which pushes down Covestro. All parts of multi Billion Euro sided Bayer. Now for a history lesson (at http://www.press.bayer.com/baynews/baynews.nsf/id/Bayer-MaterialScience-to-be-called-Covestro), which gives us “Bayer intends to float Covestro on the stock market by mid-2016 at the latest. The plan for Bayer Material Science to become a separate company was announced in September 2014” on one side, the timing is great for the board of directors who get to write off the losses from taxation and still get that 8 figure bonus. For the German government that is bad news on top of bad news. So as Germany was not a problem for the Euro, it is now a worry that is growing, growing by the day.

In all this I must now add that the national debt of Germany which represents one third of 50% now becomes an issue.

In addition, the hardship from France as it remains in a state of emergency. In addition, as too many people focus on the fact that the French Economy is moving ahead at 1.1%, which is a good achievement. Yet the unemployment rate is slowly creeping to 11%, in addition, the youth unemployment rate in France increased to 25.90, which means that the French hardship is still escalating. So as we see an economy growth of 1.1%, it is countered by ‘French unemployment rises by highest rate since 2013’ (at http://www.france24.com/en/20151126-french-unemployment-rises-highest-rate-2013), which will impact the French budget. In that regard so far (3 months later) no clear solutions have been presented by the current French government. In addition, the extremist and refugee issues are pressing more and more on the French morale, less and less acceptance is seen there. The French political landscape is still under attack, as the issues deepen, more and more people are starting to listen to Marine Le Pen, who is now seeking alliances with Italy’s Lega Nord, which also includes Geert Wilders from the Dutch PVV and Heinz-Christian Strache from the Austrian Freedom Party. These factors are important, for the simple reason that until 2 years ago Lega Nord was not even a blip on the radar of anyone who mattered in politics. That is no longer the case, more important, the stronger and the more united these right wing parties become, the bigger the collapse of the Euro. I would never have considered these parties to be anything bust extreme in chance. The inability of France’s François Hollande to get the economy to any degree on track is central here. The 1.1% melts away to -3% when we see the cost for France rise and rise. The plan for 500,000 vocational training schemes might sound nice, but that is not any guarantee to growth of economy, just an absolute guaranty to cost well over a billion, with more costs down the track. Italy is in a place not much better, even as both nations have products people want, the bulk of people are not buying the amount both governments need to see bought.

Now we see these elements as the UK has given the Brexit referendum to take place on June 23rd, which means that we are about to get flooded by propaganda from all sides, including newspapers on staying in, or moving out. The Guardian was quickly on board on how the environment would suffer (at http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/feb/03/brexit-would-return-britain-to-being-dirty-man-of-europe), whilst happily ignoring that a homeless person due to no job and no home has a worry with drowning in the rain and freezing solid in a park in winter. All these dangers because no one was willing to muzzle Greece, or bankers for that matter. So as we now see how Goldman Sachs is stating that Brexit could cost pound a 20% drop in value, should we remember those at Goldman Sachs that they are one of the responsible parties that got this entire economic mess started?

Now we get back to the continuation of the Euro issue as I saw it in the beginning. As we see how political parties are influencing events, the political element not seen is how political players have been spending others people money, without fear of persecution, prosecution or accountability. The mere inability of the European nations to keep a proper budget and to keep debts in check is a massive reason why right winged parties are now growing beyond anything. No one seems to be properly measuring data. As national data is inflated (read: weighted) we see optimistic news all over the place, whilst 90% of data and results should have been adjusted from the very beginning. So, we have one currency and all nations are floating the currency by inflating ‘predictions’ of their part of the economy, by the time that falls over, we see waves of managed bad news, yet the currency was from that point onwards never in a proper state, it has not been in that place for a long long time.

Now, France will face the next hurdle. There are too many predictions on how the UK will not go Brexit, but in all this the people are seeing their lifestyle dwindle away and as we see more managed bad news, the British people might have had enough. A strong example here comes from the BBC in December 2015 “Economic growth in 2015 was originally predicted to be 2-2.5%. But in large part because of the decision of the Government to take those bailout talks to the wire that has turned into a 2-2.5% contraction – a deep and painful recession. Now the experts are predicting once again that the economy will return to growth in 2016, unless something else gets in the way“, so as we read this, we see that ‘the experts’ were off by 5%, which is massive, which follows ‘predicted growth’ in 2016. Yet we all know that Greece has had too many problems and when the retirements funds stop because they invested in Greece, where will retirees get their ‘support’ from? They are entitled to that support, but Greece has no more money, debts it cannot pay and it let those who got Greece in that bad a state off the hook. All EEC nations left those Greeks off the hook. So now, as we see that money is running out, which will in the near future could mean that the IMF has to bail out Greece again. If that happens before June 23rd, how do you expect the British referendum voters to react?

One thing is certain, if Brexit happens, François Hollande will get the nightmare situation he dreads, because the Euro without the United Kingdom will not survive through Germany, Italy and France together. In that light it will push Frexit straight to the top, with at some point in 2017 President Marine Le Pen, signing a government act to secede from the Euro and not entirely unlikely secede from the EEC altogether. That last statement is massively speculative, but not impossible. It is nationalism that are driving the French to her and the Italians to Matteo Salvini, there is still the dangers that Nigel Farage will get on the ‘I told you so horse‘, which had a 1:1,000,000 chance to win. Now my £10 will turn into a nice retirement funds for a nice place on Guernsey (if someone honours that deal). A wave started by the mere political short-sightedness of not having a legal door to expel bad nations and their economic acts. An oversight that will result in additional trillions of write-offs and hardship for the European population at large.

A view I stated in 2013, there is now a decent chance that I will be proven right 3 years later, a mere data analyst without an economic degree.

Yet, can I be wrong? Of course I could be, but you should ask yourself: ‘Where is MY benefit?’ I am not asking you to state this in some rage of selfishness. I am asking you to look at your life, your family and all the parts you lost in the last 10 years. All the things you worked for and what you have been left with. Now, many people have not lost what they had, but their financial progress seems to have minimised, largely due to outside influences, some of them due to really bad internal governing. So how does a Brit feels when the hardship he faces comes from the bad acts not just from the UK, but in addition to the acts from Spain, Greece, Portugal and other nations? In addition, we see that those governments do not seem to be held accountable, neither are the decision makers held accountable by other governments. Now, the average Brit accepts that his government makes mistakes, just like the average Frenchman, or Italians for that matter. But neither wants to pay for the cock-ups of another government, especially as no one is held accountable, so that part leaves us with Brexit and the chance of it becoming a reality. Yet when we see the quote in the Independent “David Cameron has urged mainstream Conservative MPs not to be bullied by party activists into campaigning to leave the European Union as he took on his Tory critics with a fierce defence of his reform blueprint“, we have to consider that the risk is a lot larger than David Cameron is comfortable with, which works for Nigel Farage. The accusations that others are now accusing the UKIP MEPs, who allegedly have been intimidating other members of the European Parliament.

So, now, after a year, the UKIP members that were never seen as anything serious are now ‘intimidating’ others? So now we see the picture caption ‘Green MEP Molly Scott Cato admonished Farage and Ukip MEPs‘, yet in the Guardian (at http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/feb/03/brexit-would-return-britain-to-being-dirty-man-of-europe) we see “It will work with green groups to persuade people that leaving the EU could set back the UK’s nature protection and prevention of pollution many years“, so the battlelines of Brexit are being drawn and the question becomes, where is the truth and why are certain bad elements not being held accountable, that is the real reason why Brexit and Frexit are a reality. As no one addresses that because of the ‘friends’ these proclaimers of ‘other’ reasons have, they are driving constituents straight into the arms of Nigel Farage, Marine Le Pen and Matteo Salvini. Nigel enabled Marine (to a small extent), the fear of Brexit pushes Marine to a large extent and all those elements are now making Matteo Salvini a threat to the Italian way of life. The question whether that is for good or bad is too early to tell, but the impact will be massive in all three nations. So whatever comes next will be speculative to a larger extent which is, until June 25th, as that date could be the start of a massive upheaval all over Europe, which could hit as far as Japan and the United States of America.

 

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Questions that follow

Is it not an interesting day, for some Mondayitis is only just now setting in, for some the Mondayitis issue is just a ‘fab’ for others to avoid becoming active until Wednesday around after lunch time, and for another group, well, we never know what they are up to, so let’s ignore them for now. There is however a group that works 24:7 (please do not imply that those people are journo’s).

I am talking about the financial institutions, no matter how we oppose greed, it is the one motivator that will never stop being efficient in many walks of life. That consideration came to me as I read the article ‘HSBC’s response: ‘Standards of due diligence were significantly lower than today’‘ (at http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/feb/08/hsbc-responds-revelations-misconduct-swiss-bank) this morning.

The article is to some extent a barrel full of laughs. Let’s have a look at some of the mentioned things. The fun already starts at the second sentence “Private banks, including HSBC’s Swiss private bank, assumed that responsibility for payment of taxes rested with individual clients“, you see the word ‘assumed’, in this case that translate to, the bank sets the responsibility so that it makes an ‘ass’ of ‘you’, banks do not work from the ‘me’ setting (ass-u-me). When was the last time when you received a letter from a bank (any bank for that matter) where the word assumption was used? Most banking contracts have two one-sided parts, what your responsibilities are and how you get charged the moment you make an error (like simply withdrawing a little too much). So are you giggling yet?

The next one is an interesting one for more than one reason “HSBC’s Swiss private bank has reduced its client base by almost 70% since 2007“. Yes it is interesting, because WHERE did those people go to? The fact that they moved away from HSBC is no indication that there was a sudden massive influx of taxpayers, was there? So was the exodus reported on? My bet is that this was not; the statement is likely to be ‘this account is no longer under our care‘. This hunt for tax evasion, sounds nice, but it also comes with a flaw, not that I oppose such hunts (I will forever be roughly $1,915,000 short from making that list), but did some of these ‘witch hunters’ realise that moving these funds would have a side effect? You see, it would all be good and fine if those accounts all resorted to their original nation getting properly taxed, but that is not the case is it? As these Status Quo places get upset the dynamics change, when the accounts can no longer be hidden on Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, Switzerland or Guernsey. How long until we see a new circle of banks, now in Bahrain, Dubai and Jeddah? Do not think this will not happen, because it already is happening (at http://www.thenational.ae/business/banking/dubai-islamic-bank-confident-on-loans-portfolio-thanks-to-record-profit), so as we are reading on how a bank voluntarily moved from 78 billion to 45 billion, I have to wonder on the impact of the sentence at the very end: “However, providing client data to foreign authorities would itself constitute a criminal offence under Swiss law“. This than gives rise to the question how these changes are enforced. More important, the sentence implies that providing client data to local authorities is an option, and what they do with it, is not covered here, but it is an interesting question to consider.

The second article, which also came from the Guardian discusses more HSBC issues in ‘HSBC files show how Swiss bank helped clients dodge taxes and hide millions‘ (at http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/feb/08/hsbc-files-expose-swiss-bank-clients-dodge-taxes-hide-millions), so is this High School of Business Concealers a real bank? Well, that is a moral question not a scientific one. This is where we see more ways to get a case of the giggles. “The Swiss arm, the statement said, had not been fully integrated into HSBC after its purchase in 1999, allowing “significantly lower” standards of compliance and due diligence to persist“, so if we consider the leak by Hervé Falciani, which happened in 2007, considering the fact that the Swiss bank had been acquired in 1999, the simple question ‘Were banking executives allowed to sit on their hands for 8+ years?‘, the question might seem unfair, but no alignment in a bank that was until doing 78 billion seems very odd to me. It almost sounds like a trial in equity. “Yes, sir, I have washed my hands of everything and I have made very certain that I am not being kept in the loop for anything“, might make for interesting academic considerations, but so is the story of the Mayfair prostitute with her Hymen intact (the moral is that neither is realistic).

When you read on you will see the sentence “We have opened a company account for him based in Dubai“, so is the interest of HSBC moving towards additional banks? That question is not asked and should some consider asking Lord Green (who was group Chairman of HSBC in those days), they are unlikely to get any answer.

It is so interesting to see the HSBC onslaught all over the Guardian, but this is not just about that event. It is also nice to see how last weekend, Yahoo reported on how the Swiss Franc is boosting business in German brothels, so in the end at least one party is getting screwed (the question is who of course). Weirdly enough, the Telegraph has a passable view written by Peter Spence (yes, I am surprised too). The end has the quote that mattered in my view “What has happened in Switzerland might be a sideshow compared with larger global players, but is illustrative of a world in which central banks are increasingly looked to for answers“, I am not sure whether this is entirely correct. There is a difference between incorrect and wrong, and this one skates on two sides, you see, the mess, which I discussed in ‘A seesaw for three‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2015/01/18/a-seesaw-for-three/) is still at the heart of this, there is a credit swap in play with many governments in play, it is a global dance act which includes the US, Japan and the bulk of the EEC nations, as tax havens are now under scrutiny, the people using them are looking for options, some will make a deal, but the larger part will be looking for an alternative, I reckon that the Swiss have been very aware with the move of those HSBC accounts and the question is not just where those 70% moved to, but who else will be moving sooner rather than later. When you consider that, we see the picture as it reshapes the issue. The Swiss are holding on for dear life and at some point the Franc will lose some of its value, but as this happens, we will also see a currency destabilisation. That part is seen (in my personal view) as Switzerland is no longer playing the ‘offset’ game for other loans, which means that the game will transfer to other shores, but which shores will they move to? That part is not a given, but when we see how new players are now willing to become a member of the banking secrets. The United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia would only need to adopt two rules in their banking laws (if they have not done so already).

  1. Providing client data to foreign authorities constitutes a criminal offence.
  2. Personal wealth can be declared via the bank, who will charge a fee of n% (where it is likely that n < 5).

After that, both the Oval office and Buckingham palace can kiss any chance of those taxable billions goodbye, which could spell a massive exodus from Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Guernsey and Jersey towards sandier shores, which will hurt the Commonwealth beyond expectations. All this started from the wrong viewpoint from the very beginning, the US became reckless on how it dealt with its 18 trillion in debt by going after non-taxed fortunes from American account holders, this drive (supported by many) started a new fire and now that the flames are getting higher, those avoiding taxation are moving to shores where not only is taxation an almost impossibility, it will also limit the other acts done by both the US and the EEC to keep their currencies high, which is an act that will backfire to some extent for a longer period of time.

Personally, I am all for holding the wealthy tax accountable; we all have to pay our taxation. Yet, at present, in this economy, we are now chasing those cars, whilst we have no parking lot, so even if one is caught, what to do with this person? The US, Greece, the UK and a few others should have seriously changed certain laws half a decade ago; this mess would not have been so complete. The fact that this hunt is so visible at present gives also pause for that what we do not see. Yes, we see that the US added 257,000 jobs in January, but how many are not shown as we also see that RadioShack is filing for bankruptcy this week with over 4,000 shops expected to close (2,000 went to sprint). A host of Shale gas companies will go the same way, whilst the mountain of companies going under in the oil and gas sector is a lot larger than many can fathom. These events have a clear bearing on the banks too. Shale gas operations, oil platforms, all these places will get hit and it will affect many banks who held onto debts with the certainty that black gold brought, now there is no blame here, yet the consequence of persecuting tax dodgers will also come with another negative boost as a league of them will move to the Arabian shores, when that happens, the little stability the Euro and the US dollar had, will go straight out of the window.

Here is the kicker, no matter how wrong the expression ‘let sleeping dogs lie’ is seen in light of the tax dodgers, we must wonder how much lower the coming negative financial waves would have been if the hunt for the tax dodgers would have been delayed. In the end, it was not a solution to not go after them, but the timing truly sucks. This situation translates to governments getting kicked in the head, just as they had just accidently stumbled through no fault of their own. Yet in all this, Greece has made ZERO clear steps in dealing with its own tax dodgers, so where to go next? More questions are to follow, but I am not sure if there will be ANY answers forthcoming as it seems that three parties have painted themselves in the corner, whilst the fourth was not in the room at all, in addition these four parties aren’t even clearly communicating with each other, their only goal is to meet their own needs whilst three cannot move and the fourth can’t get into the room, one would offer the thought that a mere pre teenager would have done a better job of it all. I am not sure if I could disagree.

 

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