Tag Archives: How to lie with statistics

Update to include monsters

I was thinking of some of the old games I used to play, especially one I never mastered. The game was released in 1985; I played the Atari ST edition. The game was called ‘Balance of Power‘ and it was basically the east versus the west and through the interface you could interfere (take control of) the balance of power between east and west. In the end I got overly comfortable to the expression “You have ignited a nuclear war. And no, there is no animated display of a mushroom cloud with parts of bodies flying through the air. We do not reward failure“, yes diplomacy was never my forte. There was an update 5-10 years later when the 1990 edition was launched, I never played that edition.

I believe that the world is ready for a true update of that game. When we add the atrocities by Turkey only a few days ago, when we add the Khashoggi debacle and the impact of social media and spin doctors at the heads of media outlets we see that the world has changed to a much larger degree and the impact of what actually could happen is perhaps worthy of a new game. We need to see and play with the impact of ISIS minded forces as political parties play with the impact on a global stage. The fact that the USA is no longer a real superpower and the fact that the treasury of Saudi Arabia, the consumer base of India as the technology footing of China are much larger influences than foreseen; we get to debate a much larger spectrum of what the balance of power looks like. I believe that when the people see the impact of these elements, we see that the world reshapes almost like some Sim City version with larger repercussions. When we consider the global powers of Google and Facebook we see that the game of world politics gets filtered by economic markers. The evolution of what was once regarded as the ‘Balance of Power‘ is optionally now the stage for a larger form of balance (or is that a forum of balance) staged in a collection of seesaws where one resets the balance of two others. the old balance of power staged on the bear and eagle are outdone, less valid, the entire proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran clearly shows that and the impact of the media as they filter the news is also a larger impact and we have never been able to truly look at the impact there is, hence the idea of a new Balance of power, optionally called: ‘the Power to balance powers‘, the optional new truth that Turkey is the fourth power to instigate multiple genocides (America as it degraded the population of Native American tribes to zero, as well as the Catholic powers who removed well over a dozen civilisations, and Russian combined actions in 1931 and 1932) is something we need to consider in a much larger scope.

It is this stage where we look at the news and we are confronted with ‘The Kurds’ commander in chief explains why his forces are finally ready to partner with Assad and Putin‘, I have no way of seeing how this plays out, but there will be larger repercussions on many stages. It is time that the youth takes a serious look at the large issues that their parents are dumping on their doorstep, we need to figure things out and it is time that this is done out in the open, no longer hidden behind a screen of media filters and silencing diplomatic teams as they are trying to remain ‘non-accountable’ towards actions chosen.

The problem is not merely that we ignore the actions; the larger stage is that all kinds of ‘compromises’ are being made for the long term and the next generation needs to learn what those repercussions are and I believe that the right video game could do this. The previous generation was apparently taught that evil should never be allowed to win, yet 25 years after WW2 we all became complacent and we thought that evil was gone, evil never is and we all have optionally become part of evil as we condone the actions of many, hide behind the shallow needs that social media offers and we remain unaware as the news is decided by the wealthy (read: corporations) as they became the shareholders, stake holders and advertisers; they get to tell the media and the news what is important, what is filtered out. That is the stage where the balance of power can educate a lot of people just how dangerous our status is at present, not dangerous as if a war comes, we are beyond that, I mean dangerous as we have set the stage for multiple generations of anger, hatred and feelings of revenge, and a growing lack of tolerance towards one another. It is almost like a 4 seat seesaw and each of these seats is the balancing point for another seesaw, it becomes a game of trying to stay balanced, it also means that there is a lack of movement available, which implies that some parties will be about claiming actions when none (or that specific one) was not available.

when we see the media, we are pushed to the question ‘What is the omitted Information that Remains Missing?‘, this is a spin on two levels, the first is ‘Which question should have been asked?’, which brings us to ‘Has a quote or testimonial been taken out of context?‘ this is harder to answer, but it is an influence, which gets influenced by: ‘Is someone approaching the issue from a different set of values?‘, as well as the stated answers ‘Are the claims supported by well-done research as well as based on reliable sources?‘ and that is the foundation for merely looking at the media how it filters information, the entire stage becomes a much harder game to program, yet should it not be done because of that?

And that is all before we get to the political and diplomatic stage on “If the answer is not helpful, can we change the question to make it so?” these two elements interacting in media causes all kinds of communication (read: presentation) issues whilst both sides remain intentionally ignorant to the equation. The next generation needs to be educated on what a mess this generation is creating. That part is seen (only in part) with: ‘12 Hours. 4 Syrian Hospitals Bombed. One Culprit: Russia‘ (source; NY times), with the quote “The Russian Air Force has repeatedly bombed hospitals in Syria in order to crush the last pockets of resistance to President Bashar al-Assad, according to an investigation by The New York Times“, which was set to events on May 5th 2019, many newspapers gave that information when it happened, the repeat from the NY Times gives us the quote “Russia’s position as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council has shielded it from scrutiny and made United Nations agencies reluctant to accuse the Russian Air Force of responsibility“, this is important as the United Nations Security council is now presented as an umbrella that offers a shield from actions it was supposed to stop, a stage we knew existed, but not to the degree we see now.

So when we see the NY Times quote: “Nabad al Hayat Surgical Hospital in southern Idlib Province served around 200,000 people before being destroyed in a Russian airstrike on May 5” which comes with assisted high resolution graphics of 40 mega pixels or better whilst we look at the exploding hospital, we wonder how lucky that photographer was, or perhaps someone knew in advance what would happen, we are left with too many questions and no real explanation that fits the morality and values within us.

It is becoming more and more important that we see the world as it is now being pushed by the monsters among us, we like to set the stage to merely Iran, Turkey, ISIS and Hezbollah, yet the real monsters are the ones claiming to fight the atrocities and in the end merely facilitate to it, it goes beyond the wear events, the technological feats we see in regards to 5G is also a global impact, and we can go on and on on all the events that are part of the stage, and it would soon become too complex. Perhaps that too would be the strength on any new version of ‘Balance of Power‘ the fact that too many issues are intertwined for several reasons. Yet when we add greed to the mix, the game becomes awfully transparent, add to that the actions by some making claims that they cannot prove; the created stage of carefully phrased denials, all out in the open and when we ask specifics we are left with half-baked answers that are not answers at all. This is a part that plays a role in all this, we seem to forget that governments have a duty to properly inform us, yet in the listing from government, through corporations to media to the viewer, we forget that there are three iterations of information, all bound by their own personal issues. It is almost an applied variation from Mark M. Lowenthal ‘Intelligence: From Secrets to Policy‘, the application of stages towards the drive of any policy (governmental or not) is also baked into the media and is subject to what we are allowed to see. Consider that impact, as well as the impact of data on the whole, it might become a massively complex new game, yet when we are able to show the impact of these elements to the people, we would optionally get a much more informed person, one who ends up asking the right questions, the questions that politicians, CEO’s and CFO’s fear. When that part comes out in the open, we get a first stage to truly fix things.

Yet with my sense of humour, we should make a lot more space to include the stages that Darrell Huff introduced us to when we were given ‘How to Lie with Statistics‘, and this gets us to today, we know that the balance of power is not merely what we have, what we get and how we get there. There is an internal stage where political power is also set to the stage of people in jobs (as enabled consumers) that was proven ages ago. Yet how that stage is managed is an entirely different matter. the pushed stage where enablers, facilitators and consumers become the ‘have group’ the rest will be the ‘have not’ group.

As we got told today (source: the conversation), we see this stage in Australia, “Centrelink generally requires evidence of looking for 20 jobs per month in order to keep receiving Newstart“, that sounds fine in theory, yet in the applied practice we see that the job search government links to a job search collector, whilst the seeding player of this group is another matter. So when we look at IT jobs in Sydney we see: ‘594 jobs with 715 positions‘, with the largest bulk (over 90%) being Adzuna, yet the reviews from some are stating that this source is riddled with ‘scam’ mentions, as well as overly positive claimed stages. There is a larger issue afoot and there is not enough scrutiny, even as the people can go to really valid places like Indeed, LinkedIn and Jora; the choice we see in the governmental site calls for question of scrutiny.

Why on earth did I mention that?

We see that the balance of power is set to what is done and what can be achieved, yet when we are confronted with a stage that is not available or realistic, how will we interact? When we are set in a stage of age discrimination on a stage where our issues are not heard, or set in a long winded stage of registration where the IT parts fails too often, the government gets to optionally report that no complaints were received. In Australia the mess with Centrelink data matching, the failing Biometrics Identification Services, the UK failures on IT in the NHS and the list goes on where the costs keeps on adding billion after billion, that directly impacts a government, its budget and its waning options, very much issues on a larger scale and the claim we see with “aggressive ICT outsourcing has led to agencies being left at the mercy of external vendors“, whilst there is no proof that growing the internal options would not have resolved the issue. It is a stage where corporations have a hold over the government, pushing cheaper solutions (another reference to age discrimination get pushed to the backbench and no solutions come forward. this is a direct application of the earlier mentioned ‘in the listing from government, through corporations to media to the viewer, we forget that there are three iterations of information, all bound by their own personal issues‘, which in the application of the Balance of Power means that corporations have a much larger option to disable or limit government actions. That is what the impact of corporatocracy is. In the original games there was no real corporatocracy, nowadays there is. The US is perhaps the strongest example and the impact we see in the FDA and DEA (see yesterday’s article) as well as the ATF limited through the powers of the NRA and by corporations addressing attachments to governmental needs we see a larger impact of where governments show limitations on the world stage.

Yes, the entire game has become a lot more complex which in the end leads us to the question, is any application of the ‘Balance of Power‘ still actual and realistic? That is partially seen in 2013 when the NY Times gave us: “Eight major companies, led by Google and Microsoft, are calling for tighter controls on surveillance of their customers’ data by governments“, yet the opposite was never put in place, the existence of Cambridge Analytics, the application of selling consumer data as well as the abuse of data collection through apps has never been stopped. We get all kinds of options to market through mined data giving a larger rise to corporatocracy, whilst the media remains silent on the dangers of corporatocracy. So when we see ‘This is what happens when corporations run the government‘ (Washington Post, March 2019) and ‘Australia’s march towards corporatocracy‘ (the conversation Feb 2017) we see merely two mentions on Google search page one, whilst he situation set the stage that there should have been dozen of clear mentions and investigations, yet the media seemingly have almost zero mentions, how is that? I think that there is a clear stage where corporations do not want to see any mention if possible and as I mentioned earlier ‘in the listing from government, through corporations to media to the viewer, we forget that there are three iterations of information, all bound by their own personal issues‘, and here we see how ‘through corporations to the media‘ is directly inhibiting exposure. The Balance of Power would be an awesome game if we can incorporate it into a new game, especially when we see how the media and corporations make sure that a lot of the information will not be shown, active censorship in nations that proclaim freedom of speech and freedom of expression, when you own the printing house you get to tell the people what they care about, we apparently forgot about that small part again and again.

It is the beginning of a rigged game where the next generation gets to pay for the screw ups of the current generation, feel free to ignore or deny that, yet when we consider the US with a debt of $21 trillion, the EU has around € 10.1 trillion and on a global scale we see that the Global debt had reached an all-time high of $184 trillion in January 2019, we see that the Balance of Power is a term that has become debatable, a stage where banks are basically in charge, limiting or directing the options that any government is allowed to consider. The original game never anticipated that reality, but there you have it. John Perkins tried to inform the audience with ‘Confessions of an Economic Hit Man (2004)’, yet even after Berrett-Koehler published it, gaining an instant bestseller, whilst the major U.S. media refused to discuss Confessions or the fact that, because of it, terms such as “EHM” and “corporatocracy” were now appearing on college syllabi. A stage where the media claiming to advocate freedom of speech, whilst we see that its absence is allegedly corporation controlled, a direct (still alleged) piece of evidence showing that whatever balance of Power we envision, when it is set to nations and governments we get less than 50% of the players in view, making a larger injustice to the people.

In this, I wonder who exactly the real monsters are; are they identified by the acts of nations like Turkey, Iran and North Korea, are they the acts by organisations like ISIS, Hezbollah and Hamas, or are the corporations and the media they control a lot less innocent in all this. Will the next generation be ready for what we, the current generation have facilitated for?

I honestly do not know.

 

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The excuse from a failed politician

The NHS has been in the news more than once as it is an important issue. It is today’s article in the Guardian that is a much bigger issue than most people will realise. Let’s take a look at the issue. The title ‘NHS would be put under threat by Brexit, says Jeremy Hunt‘ (at http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/mar/26/nhs-under-threat-from-brexit) is only the beginning.

To show you part of this we need to look at this part by part. The first part is shown at the very beginning “The National Health Service will face budget cuts, falling standards and an exodus of overseas doctors and nurses if the UK leaves the European Union, health secretary Jeremy Hunt has said“, which gets my initial response ‘Let me play the worlds tiniest violin for you Jeremy! Why don’t you consider an alternative job like in a taxi or perhaps become a barber, it’s just a suggestion!

Is my response to harsh? In this light, which should always be considered, we need to state the following:

  1. The NHS will always face budget cuts, Brexit is not a factor in that reality. Remember that the NHS works off the UK national budget, which is under pressure to say the least, the EU donation not being the smallest expense in all this.
  2. Failing standards if Brexit happens. This might be the most ludicrous reasoning. Ludicrous because standards are either being met or not and at present from several sources they are not being met, the EU seems to be setting unrealistic high requirements in some cases, requirements that many nations are failing, it should be about British standards, they should be the highest and they should be met, EU be damned (and all that).
  3. An exodus of overseas doctors and nurses when Brexit happens. This could have been an issue, but it was clearly stated in my blog ‘The News shows its limit of English‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2015/06/22/the-news-shows-its-limit-of-english/), where I showed how both Sky News and the Guardian were basically fucking up and creating unneeded panic. That article called ‘New immigration rules will cost the NHS millions, warns nursing union‘ showed the lack of investigation by both news sources as the UK government had published clearly in section 79E ‘is expected to demonstrate that he is being paid either at or above the appropriate rate for the job, as stated in the Codes of Practice in Appendix J‘, the nurses are clearly mentioned and the expected income as set out in the charter.

As I see it, I had to explain that to the press in my article on June 22nd 2015, so why would Jeremy Hunt state option C? In his defence, some people might be nervous if the UK leaves the EEC, yet a British passport is one of the most revered ones on the planet. So any non-EU medical employee would do a lot to gain that status and the UK government has done its share of keeping these highly qualified people interested in staying in the UK. So tell me, why is Jeremy giving us part C?

He actually gives us a decent answer through “Hunt argues that, with the NHS budget already under huge pressure, funding levels can only be maintained if the British economy remains strong“, it is only partially an acceptable answer as the NHS has been a mess for almost half a decade now, so these issues had been known, even if Brexit is an additional element, the danger of Brexit had been a fact for at least 6 months, that is, the chance of it becoming a reality, so the consequences of diminished economy has been an element for almost a decade. Even as the UK had been fortunate, the dangers of a receding economy have been a danger for the larger extent and when we realise that other EU nations have not been this fortunate, we should see that part in the light of ‘Jeremy hunt has had an economic advantage until now’. Not being ready for that risk is clearly a failing of health secretary Jeremy Hunt (as I personally see it).

After that he then kicks in his own windows when we read “He cites a series of economic surveys, including from the CBI as evidence of the adverse impact of an exit on the UK economy“, the CBI survey, which was an absolute joke, as shown in ‘Is the truth out there?‘ (At https://lawlordtobe.com/2016/03/21/is-the-truth-out-there/), it makes for a decent read and shows how the CBI survey could be seen as another chapter from one of the most famous books in statistics called ‘How to Lie with Statistics‘ by Darrell Huff, a 1954 publications that shows us never to ignore the classics.

The quote: “Hunt suggests that progress the government is making in employing 11,000 extra doctors and 12,000 more nurses will be threatened and warns of the “damage caused by losing some of the 100,000 skilled EU workers who work in our health and social care system”. Some could leave because of uncertainties over visas and residence permits, he suggests“, which again I consider to be a load of (the word starts with a ‘B’ and ends with ‘locks’). There shouldn’t be any uncertainties on visas or residency permits and offering that even as a suggestion makes (again, in my personal opinion), Jeremy Hunt unqualified for his present position. It is his job to create calm and take stress away, not to introduce additional stresses to an area where he already failed, in addition to these points I am raising, personally, as a conservative. I believe that there are questions on Brexit and to be against Brexit might be the party line, but there are too many questions regarding the European Community, there are conservatives who seem to support Brexit. For one there is Lord Chancellor Secretary of State for Justice Michael Gove, who gave his reasons at http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/eu-referendum-michael-goves-full-statement-on-why-he-is-backing-brexit-a6886221.html, that part is not up for discussion. The only quote in all this is “The EU is an institution rooted in the past and is proving incapable of reforming to meet the big technological, demographic and economic challenges of our time“, which applies to the NHS because it is facing both technological and economic challenges already. The Labour party bungled the option to get part of the technological solution implemented that could have helped the NHS (perhaps you remember the loss of roughly £11.2 billion in NHS IT restructuring).

My issue in all this is that (again, as I personally see it) Jeremy Hunt is not much of a visionary, which means that as expected, he will follow the party line as any governing body needs to adhere to. Yet in all this, scaremongering is the wrong approach. We need to be the enlightened party, the leaders that give rise to inspiration by properly informing the people. The growing problem for the Conservatives is that like Michael Gove, more will see that the EU has stopped being a solution. Many will not be as eloquent as Michael was in his essay, as printed by the Independent. This does not matter if we are united in finding a solution. My big worry is that scaremongering is a dangerous tactic. It is also the wrong one to make for the reason that enlightening the audience creates trust, needlessly scaring them will only drive part of our party towards UKIP (or Labour), a choice that is a lot more dangerous! To govern one must be elected and the view given at present is not that encouraging.

Stephen Dorrell, the former health secretary and ex-chairman of the Commons health select committee gave us this “EU research programmes and single market legislation have greatly strengthened European cooperation in this area with substantial benefits for both healthcare and employment in the UK. It is a simple fact that Brexit would put all this at risk“, which we might see (initially), as a fair enough statement. Yet in my view, the information could be regarded as incomplete (read: speculative view). You see, when we consider Stephen Dorrell, Healthcare and Public Sector Senior Adviser to KPMG in the UK (at https://home.kpmg.com/uk/en/home/contacts/d/stephen-dorrell.html), we need to consider what KPMG could lose, apart from the NHS £1 Billion revenue solution, as one might phrase it. When we re-consider the info the Guardian gave, which is correct in the view that NHS funds will find cutbacks, KPMG has a clear danger that it will reflect on their 10 figure deal, all in pounds and a lot less on medical staff. This gives an additional weight to the view that Stephen Dorrell did not give all the information, because there is a lot more, not on the hands of Stephen Dorrell or in the hands of him mind you, but in the hands of his friends (read: associates), possibly with KPMG who are realising that Brexit will impact their juicy pharmaceutical profits, with a growing chance that India could move more and more into the UK pouch of generic medication and the expenditure cutback solutions they bring. Now, reader be warned, there is a fair bit of speculation here (the part about India), that speculation is partially because I think there are long term solutions here for the Commonwealth at large, partially because it seems to me that I (and the public at large) have had enough of fat cats (especially pharmaceuticals) avoiding taxation to the degree they have whilst selling overpriced solutions, that are being re-patented again and again.

The list of misinformation appears to be growing and I am trying to offer resistance, because my party should be better than that! After all, we aren’t the Labour party!

 

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Rated into immorality

Can anyone explain something weird to me? The news is given (at http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/nov/14/twitter-given-junk-credit-rating) to impress upon us a combination of values and steps that are beyond immoral. Consider the tweet, tweet twitter engine. I use it almost every day, it is the one unbiased part where we can follow events, people and companies so that we keep up to date, small messages that bring the actual information. A company that had a massive idea, is making money, when we see the quote “Jim Prosser, a spokesman for Twitter, pointed to S&P’s own words as comment: “Twitter will continue to experience very strong growth and not encounter a significant increase in competitive pressure.”“, we see issues, but is anyone seeing the question behind it? Then we see the one little gem hidden in all the text “The rating is unsolicited“, is this part of the issue? You see, as we look at companies, their revenue, their profit and some might consider their contribution, so as we look at it why is S&P suddenly decided ‘Twitter given junk credit rating‘? It seems to me that there is an economic shift going on. As companies are doing well, they are now getting downgraded for not meeting the expectations of some analysts.

Yet, where is this world going to?

Consider the application of morale (a word not found in a financiers dictionary) and reasoning for my thought train at present is the following: ‘Forex-rigging investigation: George Osborne gives full backing to SFO‘ (at http://www.theguardian.com/business/2014/nov/14/forex-rigging-investigation-george-osborne-sfo). Libor, Forex, Tesco and there is absolutely ZERO indication that this is just it. At the edge of reason we see the quote ‘Because I don’t want you to see any of my wobbly bits‘, which sounds ample and applicable as the financial district of happily ‘screw everyone over‘, it is all about the wobbly bits, according to Bridget Jones!

Consider the Forex articles. The second one is http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/11/14/us-banks-forex-crime-idUSKCN0IY0LV20141114. The issue is not just the events, the quote “Royal Bank of Scotland, HSBC, JP Morgan, Citigroup, Bank of America Corp and UBS were hit with penalties. Barclays is still in talks with authorities over a settlement“, which not just how far the issue has overstepped, but the issue is where banking laws are falling short, short to the extent that we have in access of half a decade. The issues continued after the banking collapse as the financial population continued to be nothing more than an eager courtesan to the bonus they so crave. The end result is a malignant decay of morals, standards and all this now (as I personally see it) on the standards as the poor are left with less than none, so Standards & Poor it is!

We now get back to what I regard to be a new level of exploited levelling. Consider the hidden simplicity that Libor held; now consider that debt ratings Moody’s, S&P, Fitch and the relative newbie Egan-Jones decide on ratings. Combine ‘how to lie with statistics‘ (a famous book by Darrell Huff) and the need to manipulate the market for 23 billionaires and we see the light of junk status made Twitter in a whole new light. Consider the basic state of an economy. A company sells, makes profit and pays taxes, a nation flourishes! This is a naive (remember my non-economic degree?) approach towards the worlds cloud of business. Investors, shareholders, analysts and raters are a cog within a machine of cogs. Yet this inner circular machine is different. It inflates, malleably changes and coaches towards a change that seems to be intent on syphoning and draining virtual cash flows into a different premise of profit, which is then turned to actual money. In an age of debts that go beyond the total of all treasuries, virtual numbers that have little to no foundation. The foundations and the levels they have been compromised towards are of a dimension we never imagined possible. Consider that the big banks have been fined in excess of 2.3 billion (at http://www.forbes.com/sites/halahtouryalai/2013/12/04/big-banks-fined-2-3b-over-illegal-libor-cartels-more-fines-on-the-way/), I wrote about it in ‘60% confiscated and counting in Cyprus!‘, on April 1st 2013, yet do not think this article to be a joke. I stated “If this is what frightens the US, then consider the consequences of a system like LIBOR being manipulated through the total value of trade. If that would have been off by 11.2%. Out of $1000T (UK and US combined) then that difference would be $112T“, several people laughed out loud then, yet now consider not just Libor, but the audited events of Tesco, the $5.3 trillion market of Forex and the fact that morality might be found in a church, but as we see the evidence, morality is not found in banks and financial institutions, where will it end?

With the Twitter events that question becomes more debatable and the impact that rating companies now impress upon profit turning companies have. Is it just about profit, or about the stated ‘anticipated statement of profit’? As certain ‘analysts’ claim that events are not exceeded, stock becomes junk, waves are created and as such, the welfare of companies are tweaked into a state of artificially changed state, some are inflated, some deflated, but always towards the claim of raters and analysts. The bottom line set towards an algorithm. Consider these states as we have seen not just the change of Tesco, but the events as they also gave way of downgraded profits with Sainsbury, which was not so vocally seen before that day in September. Interactions on many levels, based upon foundations that no one seems to question. Consider how the expectations were set by ‘analysts’ based upon data given to them and data available to them, now consider how Tesco had a quarter of a billion inflated and how the Pricewaterhouse Cooper auditors were ignorant of the inflated condition, now consider how Analysts used that element in predicting waves, the raters predicted and set the value and they are now setting the anticipation of investors and shareholders, an artificial pool with tidal wave creating capacity, and the two elements that have the ability to set the power and size of the waves. So how is your view of financial morality now? Consider the final part in this story. When we consider a story on Fortune titled ‘Twitter is junk, while Alibaba is class, ratings agencies say‘ (at http://fortune.com/2014/11/14/twitter-is-junk-while-alibaba-is-class-ratings-agencies-say/), why is that? Twitter is still holding its own, is it perhaps that the waves of Alibaba can be more easily influenced? Companies valued at the ability where the waves can be decided by the financial cogs, the stability of Twitter is less interesting to them, so they make way for whoever can aid in creating the waves these financial people want. (The last part you read is all speculation on my side), yet speculation or not, when we see the waves of Libor and Forex, are my thoughts so far out of bounds? How Twitter making millions is downgraded, how Tesco, beyond the inflated profits, still made a billion, it’s downgrade of 90% seems excessive beyond punishment, but Tesco is not a good example (because of their own internal manipulation), Consider the Fortune quote “And the fact that Alibaba is 90% dependent on a home market that is slowing, while acknowledged as a risk, doesn’t seem to scare the agencies“, it does not scare them, or it appeals the dependency of Alibaba to make certain decisions down the line? There is a side that seems ignored by all, I personally still have a hard time believing that (as my calculation went in ‘Price Waterfall Blooper‘ on October 25th) the price for 199 auditors could not find two events of inflation of each well over 100 million. Are my suspicions in regards to manipulations that far-fetched?

I wonder how long it will take for the law to catch up, for the Department of Public Prosecutions (DPP) or Crown Prosecuting Services (CPS) to get a handle on these events and deter these actions to such a degree. There should be additional questions as the raters are all American, in light of their shortfall that approaches 18 trillion at present. It seems that the US has no options, no solution and no resolution strategy, yet we see that the big four give ratings are all American. The last part is not an accusation in any way, yet the fact that the Auditors need new oversight, especially in the light of American auditing firm Pricewaterhouse Cooper as they will face questions regarding Tesco. As the 4 largest auditors include UK and Netherlands, why are there only American raters (of the proportions of the large 4)? With the risk of manipulation, should there not be a British and even a French or a Dutch rating service? Let’s not forget that PwC faces possible investigation, not because they are more likely than not guilty, but because their innocence needs to be proven beyond any doubt, especially in light of the amount of companies audited by them as well as the issue of 199 auditors (as I calculated them) not finding anything. When we consider the length of time that PwC has had Tesco as a customer, yet, these are two separate issues, there is no inkling of suspicion that auditors are part of any manipulation, yet the auditor’s data is essential to such steps.

Where is the solution?

Not sure if I know of one, laws can be made draconian to give much harsher sentence to the transgressors, but the issue is not the transgressors, the issue is that these ‘manipulators’ have by definition of law not broken any rules. Yes, we see the fines of Libor and soon Forex, these transgressions are seemingly clear, but what of the raters and the analysts? The issues of data are at the foundation here. That what is raw data and how it becomes processed data is now at the centre of it all. That what is construed to be the creator of waves through analysts, raters and auditors; Auditors collecting the data, analysts to manipulate (which is what they might see as a simple application of personal preference and weighting) and raters to set the pace for investors and shareholders.

So tell me, how wrong is MY view and why have these influential cogs not been dealt with through legislation?

 

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Memory lane is a freeway

What do you do when you need to look better then you should? Well, the obvious reason some might grasp as is ‘to lie’. So how do you lie whilst remaining truthful? Well, here we get to grasp at the one of the smallest books with the power of a titan. It is called ‘How to lie with statistics‘ and it was the masterwork by Darrell Huff in 1954.

This book has never lost its charm, not even after 60 years of evolving news and economy, it still packs a wallop!

Let’s take a look!

The Dutch bank Rabo told us the following “Despite a downturn in the first quarter of this year, Dutch GDP volume is expected to grow in 2014 by ½%, largely due to a recovery in exports and investments. In 2015 economic growth is expected to accelerate slightly to 1½%, fuelled by a real rise in private consumption” (at https://www.rabobank.com/en/press/search/2014/20140612-Rabobank-Dutch-economy-continues-cautious-recovery.html). You know, this reads somewhat familiar. Ah yes! I remember now, it was May 15th 2013, and my blog called ‘A noun of non-profit‘ had something about the Dutch economy.

Where I wrote the following in addition to the information of the Dutch NOS: “The Dutch NOS reported the prediction that even though the Dutch economy will shrink another 0.5%, they do predict a growth of 1.1% next year. I personally join the group “Oh ye of little faith!” on that one and if they are able to get the economy up to 0.2% positive in 2014 than they would have achieved quite the small miracle

Guess what! A year later it turns out I was less confident by a mere 0.2%, whilst they were overconfident by 0.7%. Now consider that I am NO economist, but I saw the rain and the worry. So were these economists informing the Dutch NOS, brilliantly on the dumb side, or was this an event of managing bad news? I actually do not know and I personally think that this is one of many events where the placer of ‘news’ was not based upon ‘realism’ but on keeping moral high no matter what the numbers are.

Is this fair?

I actually will hold out the ‘do not know!‘ sign. Looking at murky numbers is at times more an art then a science and today’s prophet is tomorrow’s ‘pussy with balls of dough’. Is that even a valid expression? You see, I do believe that we WERE heading in the right direction, but now we get two new players on the market. Actually we get 4 new players in two teams. The first team is Team Anglican with in the South Corner the one, the only the true champion of the British Empire ‘England!’ (Please say it loudly in style of Michael Buffer) and in the North corner, the new contender for the global market ‘Scotland!’ (Repeat Michael Buffer voice). This duo is now at odds and at this point, independence of Scotland is still not a fact. In this era, under these conditions, I remain a ‘stronger together‘ person, not because I am against Scottish independence, but because team 2 and a few other factors could drag down both Scotland and England, especially once they are divided, which is a really bad thing. We as Australians would come to the rescue of both, if at all possible, but our economic gravitas, especially as the previous labour government had spent 627 billion it did not have, we too are bleeding and not in the best condition for any economic price fight.

Team two is the main event and the big potato (no, it’s not Ireland). It is team USA and team Japan. Together they have overspent their coffers by a whopping 28 trillion, yes readers, these two are down 28,000 billion, which exceeds the budgets of both the Commonwealth and the EEC with an uncomfortable margin to boot. So, even if we consider the dead drop of that amount, consider that they need 280 billion per percent per year just to pay the interest on this. This means that every person in the US and Japan need to come up with $636 per person per year, per percent that means if the Us and Japan need to borrow at over 1%, every person in these two nations need to deposit $1272 each year from their net income, in America over 12% lives in poverty, which means that up to 25% of the nation has absolutely no way of making that payment. This is not a new song, it is a song, me, myself, I and many others have been trying to bring forward to the people at large. As we are all trying to survive, no one seems to be listening and the wealthy apparently do not (need to) care. This makes for a dangerous precedent because as we look at the truth of the matter, we see that team two is in such dire economic danger that the entire economic map will be redrawn soon enough. Weirdly enough, the team one issues will give additional pains to both team two and the rest of the world, whilst other events are not helping either.

You see, what can we do? This is at the heart of the matter. I try not to be the one just complaining and then leave it to others, even though I am not sure that my methods would work, it seems that my predictions have been a whole lot more accurate than those from economists making 7 figures (I personally believe I am due a $750,000 bonus, where to send the bill to though?).

Although I see USA as a strong (disregarding their deficit) option, we need to take hard actions, especially as their pharmaceutical (and several other industries) have been, in what I personally regard, a state of mindless infancy. If the TPP (Trans Pacific Partnership) does not come through, which I personally hope it does not, then the USA would need to change strategies in massive ways, and that is beside several other companies on the list of 30 that Americans keep their faith on high (aka the Dow Jones Index).

But we are not even close to the issues, mainly because this is not some anti-America rhetoric. Truly I am not against America, but against the change some executives want that nation to be, a nation that is no longer one for all Americans, but one where your return on investment and consumer spending decides whether you are allowed to live or not.

Europe as stated is still in a dire mess for several reasons. You see, there are elections in Sweden tomorrow, and for some reason, this is making many non-Swedes nervous. I did not get this at first, because I have lived there, I witnessed them and as elections go, they are as timid as you might think them to be. Watching submarines race underwater from the shoreline is a lot more exciting than the Swedish elections, so what gives?

Well, the first jolt of nervousness can be gotten from the Guardian (at http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/sep/11/swedish-elections-cracks-showing-nordic-model).

When we see Sweden, we focus on quotes like “it was Sweden that offered answers, having resolved its own debt mess a generation earlier. It is the only EU country that has lower public debt now than in 2006“, which shows Swedish Pragmatism is not confined to the furniture you buy at IKEA. When we think of the family bonds within Sweden (family is always seemed to be a Swedish trademark), we see “The care sector also suffered a privatisation scandal in 2011, when the Dagens Nyheter newspaper reported that an elderly care centre in Koppargården, run by the private company Carema, was catastrophically neglecting its customers, allegedly weighing their diapers to see if they could be used for longer, thus ensuring maximum usage and lower costs” so it seems that the care of the elderly does not have the safety of a Volvo, not to mention “Complaints about poor service and frequent delays on the high-speed train between Malmö and Stockholm also swung the mood against rail privatisation of the railways“. It seems like there is plenty under the covers that is not just upsetting the Swedes.

So how does this all link up?

This is indeed the question, on one side we see the worry of privatisation (which is really a common sense issue), because if someone wants to do it ‘better’ by taking it away from the government, then evidence of decades has shown us that this person is in it for the cash, which means the goal is to get it done cheaper, which gets us to ‘it will never ever be done better‘. At times I do not even comprehend how a population accepts such a fabricated story. But there is more (there always is, isn’t there). All this seems to impact on a European scale. Why? Sweden is not that big, as stated it is lowering debt. It is not a G-20 nation (only as an EEC member, yet not a Euro Zone), so why is there such a massive push here? They are in 7th position representing a mere 3% of the EEC in regards to the GDP, so this should not be such an issue, should it?

This is where it gets a little dicey, especially by the standards I try to keep. If we consider a player like Coface (Coface began to diversify internationally in 1992. Currently, the Group has global capabilities to support its clients’ growth in their home markets and with their exports by offering them credit insurance services tailored to their needs. Source: Coface Website). They stated the following in regards to Sweden.

The country is returning to dynamic growth in 2014, as household consumption will strengthen in response to higher disposable income, thanks to the fiscal stimulus in the context of an election year. Unemployment affected 8% of the economically active population in 2013 and is expected to fall slightly in 2014, in particular because of new jobs created in the public sector“, here we see the two united: ‘particular because of new jobs created in the public sector‘ and the rejection of privatisation. So is Sweden a risk or is this about setting the continuing trend of ‘investment’ which is now holds the taste of ‘exploitation for profit‘. This is at the core of the issues. The world at large is perpetuating a scandalous system that has no limit, will not discipline itself and the larger players will not stop overextending their reach. It is like an elastic band that can double in size and has been stretched long beyond its safety limits for half a decade, stretching more and more each year, increasing risk and danger each week. Sweden is a lovely place and it looks magical around Christmas, yet it should not have the economic impact that some give it. Is Coface the right instance? Well, that is less for me to say as these ‘risk assessors’ at times all seem the same. I did however notice that their CFO looked aged as a teenager, which made me a little nervous. Especially when you see the massive exposure Coface enjoys on an international level.

So why are they in this article? You see, Coface is part of Natixis and Natixis manages the public guaranties granted by the French Government. Yet, Natixis is not just a player, it is a financial Behemoth. Bernard Oppetit who is also chairman of Centauris Capital is on the board there. Who was visible in the past as Swedish Telecom Giant Tele2 was fending of Dutch Versatel. These facts are mere unrelated facts (or so it seems), yet there seems to be an almost incestuous relationship between some of these Hedge funds and Sweden (amongst others). How direct is Nataxis or its subsidiaries connected to some of these privatisations? The water is too murky for me to see, but it seems that Hedge funds have a three degree separation between them and pretty much any government is more than a worry. Nataxis has direct links all over America and has an office in almost every Commonwealth nation (apart from New Zealand and the West Indies). So here we see the first steps into memory lane.

There was a link with SNS Reaal as we see the following “The 5-year Note has a total size of € 1.6 billion and carries a coupon of 3.5%. The Note was issued to a widely spread range of national and international investors. Lead managers were Citi, JP Morgan Securities Ltd., Natixis, Rabobank en UniCredit (HVB)“, the bank that could not fail was before it was nationalised has links to Natixis. When I looked into SNS, I never noticed how deep some connections went, until last night I was not even aware of how far the reach of Natixis goes. Now consider the powers of their board “Any acquisition of a stake in another company or increases in equity investments, other investments, divestments (or the creation of a joint venture) by Natixis or one of its significant subsidiaries representing more than €150 million” as well as “Any transfers, mergers or demergers in which Natixis is involved” (source: Natixis website). So is this the first we see of the larger funds, now squeezing out the remaining coin of the smaller places, because if that is so, we only have to wait and see when Natixis opens offices in the West-Indies and/or New Zealand, because that might be an indicator that the other exploitation wells have truly run dry (a personal, and possibly wrong assumption).

It is of course likely that the true economists (me is not one of them), are laughing in regards to my naiveté, yet who else knew and how is a direct subsidiary of Natixis, setting the credit score and advice for customers, supporting them and securing their transactions by protecting them against the risk of their clients defaulting. As they themselves state it, whilst their ‘big momma’ Natixis, with an impact beyond belief has a vested interest. I would state that ‘incestuous’ does not even close cover the issue.

This is not a jump from whatever to Natixis, this memory highway, as some might recall the issues on the Royal Bank of Scotland, which I also took a look at. When we consider the news from the BBC (at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/mobile/business-15212476), we see another view where Natixis has links. The quote “Natixis assumes the following percentage writedowns (or “marks”) on Greek, Irish, Portuguese, Italian and Spanish debt, respectively: 70%, 40%, 40%, 20% and 20%. And then it assumes the banks would need to preserve a core tier one ratio of either 7% or 8% on these stressed scenarios by the end of 2012“, Is the writing on the wall or have we all (including me) ignored a tier of economy, or better stated a commissioned golden lining of profit as certain ‘providers’ remained behind the screens. “You take in greed from the customer and charge them all twice” (sing this line in the tune of Harry Nilsson ‘You put the lime in the coconut‘) and you charge the others in the morning.

Memory lane turns out to be more than just a freeway, as we are limited to walking down this road, the financial advisors and stakeholders are driving back and forth whilst limiting the views we have and the governments involved seem to be driven to not be too revealing on where the money is coming from. It is important to know that all this, whilst true is devoid of any crime, devoid of illegal transactions and possibly even devoid of misrepresentation, yet as I see it a massive misleading amount of presentation towards an audience of taxpayers. So what will happen in Sweden? I do not know, they seem to have an election in less than 24 hours and I find it interesting that it could have an impact. Another vote is soon thereafter on Scotland, which will have an economic impact too. My worry is why the impact is so far beyond the borders of the involved parties, which gives wonder to global statements in the trend of ‘Economic policies in isolation won’t lead to growth in Europe‘. I definitely feel uncertain to oppose such a view, but when we consider players like Natixis, is it perhaps possible that economic isolation leads to a few less dangers? Especially in Europe that issue should be deeper investigated by people who do not have a stake in the game. The writer of the piece I gave was Dr Bryony Hoskins. From what I read, I would categorise her as ‘a really smart cookie’. Yet one of her points is “Encourage collaboration and partnerships between different types of organisations, such as schools, local authorities, youth groups, charities and businesses“, I do not disagree with the generic view, but when we see the involvement on a ‘guiding’ behemoth like Natixis, is there not the danger of government enabling business to push for other long term changes that only serves the business and no one else? With assets well over 300 billion, this player has loads of pushing space, the question is: are they actually pushing?

There is of course the other side, is it fair to blame Natixis for anything (I have not been blaming them)? For example, if we watch all these computers around us with viruses and they are all Windows PC’s, can we state that Microsoft is making viruses? This is at the heart of it all, having your fingers in every pie, could give the thought that any bad pie was because of the fingers, we forget to look at who is making the pies. Yet as we see changes happening in Sweden and as hedge funds and retirement funds are going together, perhaps enabling one another, how dangerous is the stable view of Sweden at present? These searches led me to the attached document named “http___doc.morningstar.com_document_183a66452941e059812946b714604784.pdf”. I do not pretend to understand it. But the risk of ‘5’, when we consider retirement funds and ‘NSIO-OFM1403A’, would give me a reason to worry. LET ME BE CLEAR! I am not an economist!

I added the documents (at the end), so that perhaps those who do know, will know better.

So why am I here then? It seems to be silly, stupid and all other sorts of not bright in a place that I do not understand. The fact that a relative small nation like Sweden could have such stretching consequences on the market was beyond me, yet if I look at the Natixis annual report (at http://ngam.natixis.com/docs/812/834/AF58-1213.pdf), I am confronted with another question. “If one cog in the machine changes direction, what happens to the financial numbers of a behemoth like Natixis?” I am not stating that they are ‘hurt’ in any way. It might be less than a pinprick, but the fact that this company has stakes in all commodities and every large bank that had been slapped around in the last few years; it does make me wonder in light of the issues we faced in 2008. “What happens when a hedge fund bets on a nation failing?” is that such a leap? Only last month several made millions, betting against Banco Espírito Santo. Is my thought really that far from reality? Apparently not! George Soros is already doing this, betting on the collapse of the US stock and he put 2 billion where his mouth was, so was I right all along (at http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/aug/18/george-soros-bets-2b-plus-stock-market-collapse-in/)?

http___doc.morningstar.com_document_183a66452941e059812946b71460478414_355_NSI_Bond_b9aeb, 14_355_NSI_Bond_b3c0c

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