Tag Archives: Mario Draghi

The European conglomerate of corruption

It was always going to happen, it was always going to get pushed. Yet the setting and the size of the levels of corruption is just beyond anything I could have imagined. How large corporations and politicians set hand in hand to enable corruption is just staggering and the media is assisting in this process. This is more than just Brexit. The article (at https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/sep/17/uk-needs-darkest-hour-in-brexit-talks-before-giving-ground), gives more than just the title ‘UK will shift Brexit stance in its ‘darkest hour’ claim EU officials‘.

Now some will throw ‘corruption’ left, right and centre, so let’s take a look at this. The dictionary gives us “dishonest or fraudulent conduct by those in power, typically involving bribery“, the problem is that most people just think it is about the money and most of the time they are correct. Yet the legal dictionary gives us: “The use of public office for private gain, Dunhaime gives us in addition the Canadian setting with: ““Corruption is understood to be the exploitation of a position of trust, typically in the public sector, in order to receive a private gain, which may or may not be financial. “Corruption is not a simple issue of right and wrong, and conditions that encourage public officials to seek out or accept corruption include (a) the expected gains from undertaking a corrupt act exceed the expected costs and (b) little weight is placed on the costs that corruption imposes on others.” We got this part from Karen Katz in the Canadian Law Journal.

In this we must also include the American version, which was discussed in In Nixon v Shrink Missouri Gove, where Justice Souter of the United States Supreme Court used these words: “Corruption is a subversion of the political process. Elected officials are influenced to act contrary to their obligations of office by the prospect of financial gain to themselves or infusions of money into their campaigns“, it is the elected officials part that matters.

When we are confronted with: ““A lot of movement is needed by the UK side before we can actually reach agreement”, said one senior diplomat. “We need a substantial change in the UK red lines still.” A second EU diplomat added: “It seems that the UK needs to have a ‘darkest hour’ moment before they will shift position. But they will have to shift their position.”” In addition, we see the fear mongering by Christine Lagarde, managing the IMF, who so far has been wrong thrice over in the last four years alone. We are given “a no-deal Brexit would deliver “reduced growth, an increase in the [budget] deficit and a depreciation of the currency“. In this we see another claim that has to be proven wrong again, all in the need of fear. You see this fear is growing. It is in part growing because the Italians are also moving on an ItaLeave (or is that iExit) path.

A path that even I did not see happening. I gave voice to the danger two years ago, but I also recognised that it was unlikely to happen, not as much as France and they pulled a rabbit named Emanuel Macron, not the Emmanuelle the European man were hoping for (see image). Yet in Italy it did go a lot further And now that Metteo Salvini is the elected group, the powers of Wall Street are getting scared, they are contemplating the end of their long reign of exploitation, so this wave is perhaps the last one, which makes the subversion of British Freedom even more essential. And in this British politicians are helping out, because London has been scared by all the fearmongering and Sadiq Khan is now worried for his town. He is shouting on the need for a second referendum. Yet, I want to set a few parts as well. The first is that the ECB gets disbanded, it is not transparent, it has taken liberties that are beyond acceptable and whenever the G30 bank elite comes to mention it had been avoided again and again. That is the setting towards what I regard to be of levels of corruption that are beyond acceptable. I personally want to add the right of targeted killing that means that any given links on politicians and the banks and large investors that is regarded to be unacceptable comes with an automated death sentence. I wonder how many politicians will get worried, they claim they will not be, but one knock on their door with the mention of the Battersea Power Station with the quote: “In an interview with the Guardian, Anwar, who was released from prison after the opposition won power for the first time in Malaysia, said the previous government had used the savings of ordinary people to cover up the multibillion-dollar embezzlement scandal at 1MDB, a state investment fund.“, and when we consider the news merely 5 days ago (source: the Guardian) with: “Peter Bingle used his longstanding relationship with Ravi Govindia, the leader of the London borough of Wandsworth, in attempts to circumvent council officials he believed were being obstructive to his clients, including over the size of payments due to public projects“, I think that my case has been decently made. In this we will hunt down and give the fear mongers the option to either show clear evidence or get executed. Is that not an easy way to get to the truth of the matter?

This reflects on Europe and the ECB, because their laughter dies down quite quickly at the point when the first ‘accidental’ fatalities hit the newsreels, after that them bitches be crying. As for the hard times. Yes, the UK would always get a few years of hardship after Brexit. Anyone stating that this is not true is lying to you. The issue becomes that after Brexit, the careless spending will no longer get pushed onto UK budgets, which also means that debts can be better dealt with quicker and also to a larger extent. That also means that as debts go down, as infrastructure issues are dealt with, it will have much better chance when the UK is not dragged down through 3 trillion stupid mistakes by Mario Draghi. OK, that was not quite true, the first Trillion we get, but when it failed he decided to add two trillion to that debt. That is the issue that the UK is confronted with and there is also the bigger crux. You see, the BBC reported last month (at https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-45247631) that a charity has called for tougher regulation of bailiffs, as it calculated that households have fallen behind on essential bills by £18.9bn. Staying in the EU does not fix that, the bills are still due, yet when the economy betters something can be done and that is what Europe does not want, they want that the lifestyle remains equal for all, looking at Sweden alone we see that this future is fictive and the EU is draining all funds with their gravy trains as well, making matters worse. If there was only someone who had been able to hold the ECB accountable on some of their actions, but alas, there was no option for that and there we see the one truth that Nigel Farage was correct in. If the Brits all unite for a better Britain it will work. And that is not merely those born there, anyone living in the UK, being a resident or citizen has the best interest that growing the UK is the only path that works.

The entire charity matter is also a path that matters, because it impacts life in the UK. We can agree that bills have to be paid for, but that is no longer an option as the pockets of big business are filled through exploitation and that cash is moved out of the UK through perfectly legal and creative bookkeeping.  So when we see: “Citizens Advice said it was getting a call from someone needing help owing to bailiffs every three minutes. It is calling for a bailiffs regulator in England and Wales. It points to a case of an elderly couple who owed £700 in council tax who are now afraid to open their front door after bailiffs used aggressive tactics and threatened to call in the police.” We need a much better system that allows for the return to better values and pushing out exploitative business is a requirement, yet their exploitative options are protected by the EU and Strasbourg, who want the status quo and will remain in denial for another decade, whilst the required actions are already 5 years too late. Here to we see the need to go it alone for the UK and let’s not forget that Italy is already moving on that path, no matter what happens now, when Italy gets out before the UK, the options of the UK will diminish even more, and that is still on the table, even as we see the news with “‘We Want to Change Things from Within.’ Italy’s Matteo Salvini on His Goal to Reshape Europe“, we see carefully scripted answers in regards to the Italian exit, yet the EU budget fights are implying that this path remains open to Matteo Salvini. The Financial Times (at https://www.ft.com/content/cad84ef6-b10d-11e8-99ca-68cf89602132) gave us: “But others fear a spat with Rome that could spur support for Mr Salvini in European Parliament elections in May next year and re-energise his party’s calls for a eurozone exit.” That is the dilemma that all these Europeans now face, because when the UK is officially out, the Italian exit will collapse the Euro as well as the EU. A setting that was always going to happen (at some point), yet the order in how it happens will also set the stage on how it impacts the UK and my personal view is the quicker that they are out, the better their position will be and there we see the stage of all these fearmongering players, every month less is another year of pension gone and a more medial lifestyle for those people who want their golden parachute and their golden swimming pool. That whilst 99.99934%of the people in the UK (roughly) will never ever have either.

So even as he Financial Times gives us the Top Marginal personal income tax for employees , we see that Sweden heads it and the UK is a lot below that, whilst Italy is two places below that part and Italy ‘flat tax’ is dead last. Now if we could have seen another chart that includes the levels of tax avoidance (which is perfectly legal) we could clearly see that the UK will never get the amount professed in that chart. There are too many loopholes and many nations use them, the EU gave even more options there. This gets us to 2016, when we were introduced to: “On 28 January 2016 the Commission presented its proposal for an Anti-Tax Avoidance Directive as part of the Anti-Tax Avoidance Package. On 20 June 2016 the Council adopted the Directive (EU) 2016/1164 laying down rules against tax avoidance practices that directly affect the functioning of the internal market“, which sounds awesome, was it not that 8 months later, we were treated to: “Huge sums are being lost due to tax evasion and avoidance. Estimates go up to € 1 trillion“. The mere setting of dates that were not clearly added to the page and other matters missed, gives us the uselessness setting of the EU, moreover those 8 months, the people involved, what did they achieve and how much did they get paid? It is my personal opinion, yet ec.europe.eu is filled with blunders and misgivings of a nature that should have gotten a truckload of these people fired and now they all band together, because when the UK leaves their party ends and that scares them. It is not that they merely try, it is that they for the most fail again and again.

That whilst IBM gave us the opposite setting for Brexit only a month ago with: The problem, though, is that there are some signs that Brexit isn’t going to be as bad as once feared – and may, in fact, turn into a net positive for the UK, and tech giant IBM might play an outsized role in some of the developing factors. Here’s why:

  • Foreign Investment is Growing
  • Emerging Technology Solving Trade Issues
  • Exports Climbing and
  • US Uncertainty Taking a Toll

These are all matters that work for the UK over time and that is why these levels off fearmongering anger me so and I personally would want retaliation against those trying to prolong their futures through fearmongering.

All issues ignored by the media to a much larger degree and whilst they emphasize on people like Lord Adonis, we need to make certain that those doing so are given the spotlight to the larger degree after the proof is shown, we will not allow for a simple ‘sorry’ we will set the stage for draconian change to their non-journalistic path. In the first in setting these publications as no longer to be regarded as newspapers, especially publications like the Daily Mail. They can publish of course, we would never hold their right of expression, but no longer in a 0% setting, they will become vat accountable for the 20% that any magazine and glossy gossip mag is set to, the playing field should be equal, should it not? I wonder how long it takes for them to feel that 20% pinch (good for the UK coffers) and when they start passing that onto the consumers, do you think that they will continue choosing that medium, or will they consider reading an actual newspaper?

All elements of corruption. The setting of ‘exploitation of a position of trust‘ is seen with newspapers, title of status, positions of wealth and managing policies as well as the facilitation and nepotism on smoothing paths for buildings. There is too much going on and it is hurting the UK immensely. We can argue that the EU has allowed corruption levels that we had not seen since ancient Rome and when we consider who is heading the ECB, we see and optional coincidence of correlation.

The largest danger is not when the UK gets out, but when the fear mongers win and Matteo Salvini succeeds, because at that point the UK will face close to a decade of additional hardship. Are you ready for that? Are you in the UK willing to forgo heating in the winters of 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023? Consider that, because the debt of the people adding to £18.9bn implies that they have to forgo electricity or heating; what would you chose?

 

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FI01, becoming offensive

I will leave the entire Novichok alone for now, there is rustling in the weeds and it is important to look at it, but only when more actual quality information is available. It is time to take a look at the FI protocols. It is time for FI01.

This might not be the article for many of my readers, I will not shun hash words and I will not shun those wading in hypocrisy. Yet to do that, we need to look at certain definitions too and that is the part we get to after we look at the Guardian article (at https://www.theguardian.com/media/2018/sep/13/social-media-firms-could-face-huge-fines-over-terrorist-content). The article ‘Remove terror content quickly or be fined, EU tells social media firms‘. the setting given is “Social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter will be forced to take terrorist content off their sites within an hour or face multimillion-pound fines under EU proposals“, is probably the biggest part, but let’s look on; when we see some of the parts given by Julian King, the British security commissioner in Brussels. We are given a few truths that matter. “We have got a problem with content; it is not an entirely new problem, we are not starting from scratch, we have agreed to do some voluntary stuff, and we got some good progress – but not enough” is the first part and I will get back to that, yet the more important part is “Every attack over the last 18 months or two years or so has got an online dimension. Either inciting or in some cases instructing, providing instruction, or glorifying“. I get it, something needs to be done. In the first we need to see the list and the proper setting of evidence. I get it that this is not offered online for several reasons. Yet there needs to be a lot more scrutiny. As we see the utter screw up regarding Novichoks, the lack of evidence and linked statements without evidence. We also need to state clearly that the press (to a larger extent) is part of the problem, not part of the solution. Julian King needs to realise that if his peers are dragging their heels on one side, he cannot be part of anything acceptable stating the utter impossibility of: ‘take terrorist content off their sites within an hour‘.

From my point of view, this is about something else; this is about giving governments’ direct access to social media to filter ALL content (at their leisure). To get anything done within the hour is just not realistic and they know it. It is also very clear that when 5G is here, it will be too late and that is what they fear even more, and being stupid about it is just not a solution in any place.

It becomes an even more laughable setting with: “Parties could be fined up to 5% of their annual budgets for breaching data protection rules in order to deliberately influence the outcome of the European elections, including those for the European parliament in May 2019“. So instead of making it illegal and rejecting that party from elected consideration, they get a fine? Allowing for big business to sacrifice via some small institution to cop a few million whilst still getting what they want. So when we see Julian King state: “given the track record, there has to be a chance, and we have to up our game and be more resilient“. How about setting the stage that the use of social media for elections is just out of bounds? Limit it to TV, Newspapers and magazines?

We see the problem a lot clearer when we consider the ‘High-Level Commission Expert Group on Radicalisation (HLCEG-R)‘ report from May 18th 2018. Where exactly is the definition of ‘terrorist content’? You see, the EC is all about definitions all the time. Yet here we see an interaction and a level of interchangeability of ‘terrorist content‘ and ‘illegal content‘. It is found to some extent in the report referred to in footnote 19 where we see the report ‘COMMISSION RECOMMENDATION of 1.3.2018 on measures to effectively tackle illegal content online’. So is all ‘illegal content’ ‘terrorist content’? It seems to me that this sudden trivialisation is about something else entirely (at least to some degree).

When we look at the second report, we see: “At the collective level, important progress has been made through voluntary arrangements of various kinds, including the EU Internet Forum on terrorist content online, the Code of Conduct on Countering Illegal Hate Speech Online and the Memorandum of Understanding on the Sale of Counterfeit Goods. However, notwithstanding this commitment and progress, illegal content online remains a serious problem within the Union

This is reference to Article 292. Yet now we see Illegal Hate Speech Online, the Sale of Counterfeit Goods as well as terrorist content online. So is this about a Nina Ricci bottle or a Prada backpack, because the devil is not in the details, the devil wears Prada plain and simple. We see to some extent the ‘aggregation’ of stupidity (as I personally see it) in item 32, where we are treated to: “In light of the particularities related to tackling terrorist content online, the recommendations relating to tackling illegal content generally should be complemented by certain recommendations which specifically relate to tackling terrorist content online, building on and consolidating efforts undertaken in the framework of the EU Internet Forum“, so when illegal content is online, we now see the implicated setting that these people could be regarded as terrorist. With ‘be complemented by certain recommendations‘, which now becomes a rather weird setting. You see ‘political opinion’ cannot be seen as illegal speech, so not getting to barrier one, also avoids barrier two. In this setting, any political drive must be proven to give the reading of proven the need that the speech instils the drive to act illegally. Until a clear act is connected, there will be no success.

This now gets us to paragraph 33, where we see: “Considering the particularly grave risks associated with terrorist content and hosting service providers’ central role in the dissemination of such content, hosting service providers should take all reasonable measures so that they do not allow terrorist content and if possible prevent hosting it“. So at this point what exactly is ‘terrorist content‘? And the reference to that paragraph refers to ‘without prejudice to Article 14 of Directive 2000/31/EC’, are you effing kidding me? That is the privacy part on a section in ‘legal aspects of information society services, in particular electronic commerce, in the Internal Market‘.

So we get this mess presented?

In that regard when we see: ‘Commission proposes new rules to get terrorist content off the web‘ It is my personal agitated view in the matter that protocol FI01 is set to President Jean-Claude Juncker, he is the Eff…ing Idiot number 1.

When we again look at the headline: “Terrorist content is most harmful in the first hours after it appears online because of the speed at which it spreads. This is why the Commission is proposing a legally binding one-hour deadline for content to be removed following a removal order from national competent authorities“, a one hour deadline? Really? Most EC parts have not been able to clean their act in years, so now social media gets sliced and cut? Is Europe so broke that they want the millions from the three social media providers because they cannot clean their own stables?

Consider the Statistics, Facebook has 2 billion active users a month, and this is not static. We see from sources that Five new profiles are created every second, there is a registered amount of photo uploads approaching 300 million per day as well as the setting that every minute on Facebook: 510,000 comments are posted, 293,000 statuses are updated, and 136,000 photos are uploaded and that is ignoring languages and expressions. The entire setting of removal in an hour is so unrealistic it is close to hilarious. When we are confronted with that, whilst ‘the Conservative’ (not the greatest source, I admit) gives us: “The structural defects of the European Commission are plentiful: an insurmountable democratic deficit; not a hint of accountability; and an opaque process of legislative formulation to name but a few“, that whilst labelled individual FI01 is also connected to: “The president of the European Commission is embroiled in a new criminal investigation into claims that “tampered” evidence misled an inquiry into phone-tapping. Jean-Claude Juncker faces accusations that his officials presented inaccurate information under oath in a case involving an alleged illegal wiretap more than ten years ago when he was prime minister of Luxembourg” (source: The Times, December 13th 2017), that is the person giving social media providers an ultimatum of an hour? You have got to be kidding me. The Telegraph gave us in addition: “The new evidence, which led to the postponing of a trial of three senior formers members of Luxembourg’s SREL intelligence service, according to The Times, showed that a key telephone transcript had apparently been doctored

That’s the person who is part of throwing ‘illegal content’ and ‘terrorist content’ on one pile?

Good to know!

So now we get to the fact sheet!

Here we see (at https://ec.europa.eu/commission/sites/beta-political/files/soteu2018-factsheet-terrorist-content_en_0.pdf) the setting of ‘How does the new procedure for removing terrorist content work?‘ We now see the following

  1. National authority detects and makes assessment
  2. If considered terrorist content, removal order issued to host
  3. Host must remove content within one hour

That seems almost harmless, does it not?

Yet we also see:

  • Right to challenge: Hosting service or content provider may appeal the removal order. If the appeal is successful, the content is restored; if the appeal is rejected or the deadline lapses, the removal order stands and the content must be permanently removed.
  • Obligation to report: If issued with a removal order, the host must report on proactive measures taken to address terrorist content online three months after receiving the removal order.

I am missing any level of accountability, too much ambiguity. So from my point of view, anyone abusing the ‘terrorist content’ for mere filtering and censoring on behalf of anyone else needs to be held criminally liable. I reckon that after 2-3 cases there will be suddenly a large need for postponed trials.

When we investigate the member states part in all this, we see no fine for the state when wrongful removal was done, we see a pressure on removing (or else), yet there is a shallow point when it comes the other way around. In addition, we see “coordinate with other Member States and Europol to ensure that evidence of online terrorist content is flagged, and that duplication and interference in national investigations is avoided“, yet there is no registration on who ordered the removal, also, there is no registration per removal id and in that stage set penalties for those having set the stage for recurring unjustified removals giving ample voice to the earlier: “not a hint of accountability“, if this is about terrorist content, is that part not equally important?

I am all for getting all terrorist content removed, yet the systems cannot get it all, that is too unrealistic and pushing a one hour timestamp whilst the other side has no accountability at all is just a discriminating joke in the making. It is also still interesting to see that they claim to fight terrorism and terrorist online activities, whilst Iran state sponsor of terrorism in still a welcome debate and trade partner in the EU. In addition, the entire matter of Iranian diplomat Asadollah Assadi and terrorist was given light a week before the EU approved plans for the European Investment Bank to do business with Iran. So you want to stop social media, whilst still doing business with these people? How unacceptable is that part in all this? If the EU cannot clean its stables, it has no business enforcing anything on social media that is how I personally see it. Yes, we can agree that terrorist content must be removed ASAP, yet what is that? One hour? 24 Hours? 72 hours? The fact that the EU does business as usual with a terrorist funding government implies that they are clueless on several grounds and the fact that we see an increasing amount of evidence growing on the matter of Iranian Missiles fired into Saudi Arabia is further evidence still that the EU is merely the pot calling the kettle black. It is in that setting that we should conclude that they have no business ‘fine giving’ any social media, especially in light of such a massive funding failure.

You see, what angers me so is the mere filtering of politicians and that needs to stop too! In this I present two elements. The first part comes from Bloomberg last year. We are given (at https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-11-29/facebook-says-99-of-is-al-qaeda-content-spotted-by-ai) where we are treated to: “Today, 99 percent of Islamic State and Al Qaeda-related content Facebook removes is detected by the company’s AI before any user flags it, Monika Bickert, Facebook’s head of global policy management, and Brian Fishman, head of counter-terrorism policy, said Wednesday. They said in some cases the software was able to block the content from ever being posted in the first place“. Yet the other part that the Guardian gives us is: “We have got a problem with content; it is not an entirely new problem, we are not starting from scratch, we have agreed to do some voluntary stuff, and we got some good progress – but not enough“. Now we get to the good part, what EXACTLY is ‘not enough’? From my point of view Either Bloomberg lied to us, or Julian King is what some might consider as: ‘an unacceptable piece of trash’. If he wants 100%, he better give us clearly add a few elements of EC accountability and holding them criminally liable when they abuse their power. Also is any abuse of that ‘filtering content’ is found, he is to be dishonourably discharged and shamed in the entire EU, with a clear banning from ALL official positions in the EU and the Commonwealth.

Why the overreaction?

We have been fed two versions again and again and we see a lack of accountability on the EU side too often; for example the elitist banking group of 30 with Mario Draghi as a member. When the Financial Times gave us: “the close links between central bankers and the private sector have aroused public suspicion since the global financial crisis triggered a series of bank bailouts” we see suspected levels of nepotism that raises more issues than 50 successful Islamic State attacks. The article (at https://www.ft.com/content/dc64b6e2-8060-11e8-bc55-50daf11b720d) also gives us “The Ombudsman has also attacked the ECB’s argument that it was standard practice for top central bankers to join the club. The central bank chiefs of Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Poland, India, Brazil, Russia, Canada, and Australia are not members and Janet Yellen suspended her membership during her time at the helm of the US Federal Reserve”, showing that the European Commission has a truckload of issues, it is my personal view that it has no business acting in the way it does.

Yet, defence of the actions instigated by Julian King can be seen in Forbes. The article (at https://www.forbes.com/sites/kalevleetaru/2018/05/15/the-problem-with-using-ai-to-fight-terrorism-on-social-media), an Article from last May gives us: “the general public would be forgiven for believing that Facebook’s algorithms are vastly more effective. The New York Times summarized the statement above as “Facebook’s A.I. found 99.5 percent of terrorist content on the site, leading to the removal of roughly 1.9 million pieces of content in the first quarter,” while the BBC offered “the firm said its tools spotted 99.5% of detected propaganda posted in support of Islamic State, Al-Qaeda and other affiliated groups, leaving only 0.5% to the public.” In fact, this is not at all what the company has claimed. When asked about similar previous media characterizations of its counter-terrorism efforts, a company spokesperson clarified that such statements are incorrect, that the 99% figure refers exclusively to the percent of terrorist content deleted by the company that had been flagged by AI.

This could be easily tested and as such I decided to do so and with ‘ISIS images’ I got hundreds and hundreds of images, videos and other matters in my browser and I got even more with the search term ‘Jihad Islamic state’. The video (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jzCAPJDAnQA) shows actions of Islamic State, with sounds, vision and comments. It is News from Vice News, a video from 2014, still online today. At some point you need to as just how ludicrous and useless actions are. We get it that there are actions, we see that numbers become debatable. Yet in all this the mere reported numbers are already an issue, and if I added Vice News articles to me Facebook news feed, would that constitute ‘Terrorist Content’? This small part alone shows us that this is about something else and as such we better take a real hard look at the Actions of the EC, demanding that the censoring side should be held equally liable and prosecutable for their overreaction and inaction. Yet that is never ever going to happen, is it? This is making the EC actions (in my personal opinion) a lot more questionable in all this. It was the overreaction and the emphasis of ‘One Hour’ that set the tone of mistrust, I wonder what else we will see over the coming week.

 

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Democracy is dead

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

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

How does that relate?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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As the car industry dies

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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Merely a week ago

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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The Iranian funds play

Today is all about Iran, the Washington Post and many others are giving the world the information that the previous president misled congress. Yet the Washington Post phrases it as ‘Obama administration misled Congress on possible Iranian access to U.S. financial system‘, they also mention that it is a Republican investigation. There are two issues, right off the bat, even before you read the article, the question becomes, where were the FBI and the CIA in this?

So when we get the first lines with “The Obama administration went out of its way in early 2016 to help Iran recoup previously sanctioned oil revenue stranded in an overseas account after the nuclear deal went into effect and actively misled Congress regarding those efforts, according to the results of a nearly two-year Republican investigation released early Wednesday“, we need to realise that the setting is wrong from the very start.

Before I go there, let’s follow the trail of crumbs that we get offered. next there is “Iran wanted to convert the money into U.S. dollars and then euros, but top U.S. officials had repeatedly promised Congress that Iran would never gain access to America’s financial system“, which is followed by “the Obama administration secretly issued a license to let Iran sidestep U.S. sanctions for the brief moment required to convert the funds through an American bank, an investigation by Senate Republicans released Wednesday showed. The plan failed when two U.S. banks refused to participate” and finally we get: “the revelation is re-igniting the bitter debate over the nuclear deal and whether former President Barack Obama was too eager to grant concessions to Tehran“. The full story (at https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/federal_government/obama-era-license-aimed-to-let-iran-convert-money-in-dollars/2018/06/06/60be6d36-6971-11e8-a335-c4503d041eaf_story.html) gives us a lot more, but initially, we get ‘The plan failed‘. So this was seemingly (according to a previous Obama official) about the Iranian money held overseas. The issue seems seen with “No one involved seems certain whether Iran has yet received all of its $5.7 billion“, yet as I see it, that does not seem to be the case. When you think this through, $5.7 billion amounts to 11.2 million barrels based on the average oil price, this amounts to funds equal to 26 hours of oil production in Saudi Arabia, 26 hours! Now we are not debating whether Iran is allowed access to the funds, the fact that we see that this much oil (or so little in Saudi Arabia), whilst in Iranian production it amounts to 4 days of oil production is a Joke. Oil still goes to Asia, so all this fanfare for 4 days of oil production? This is about something else entirely, or it is about a very different amount of money. I let you mull that part over, so when we look at the second article (also Washington Post), we see in the article called ‘Secret Obama-era permit let Iran convert funds to dollars’ where we are ‘treated’ to “Iran had been promised access to its long-frozen overseas reserves, including $5.7 billion stuck in an Omani bank“, which we knew to some extent, yet the full economic value is not given, which is also an issue, you see that stuff makes interest, so at that point who gets that money? Is it locked in the Iranian account, or was it the balancing act to the seesaw that is going up and down on €11 trillion in essential European and American debt guarantees? The second article has pretty much what the first one had, but we also see (slightly more clearly) “And when questioned by lawmakers about the possibility of granting Iran any kind of access to the U.S. financial system, Obama-era officials never volunteered that the specific license for Bank Muscat in Oman had been issued two months earlier. According to the report, Iran is believed to have found other ways to access its money, possibly by exchanging it in smaller quantities through another currency“, this now gives us the part (when going back to the first article: “Lew, according to documents reproduced in the report, had been given Treasury talking points explaining the Omani conundrum, he chose not to mention it in a House hearing in late March“, this reference to former Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, where we wonder that if this is about the question, was the question correctly phrased, or perhaps the better setting is, was he breaking any laws not mentioning the ‘Omani Conundrum’?

I cannot state without the full text and even if we agree that there is an issue, we now get back to the very core of the matter. If it involves US Banks and when we reconsider ‘the plan failed when two U.S. banks refused to participate‘, two out of exactly how many banks? That part is also not revealed here. So now we get to the part where it becomes either the US treasury AND the FBI who seemingly did not act here, the Omani Conundrum implies that the CIA turf was trodden on and the communications (in several levels) give us that the NSA ignored it. So what is going on? Did anything actually happen? Because that question is becomes valid when we reconsider ‘the plan failed‘. If that is true, then why is the Washington Post, one of the most revered newspapers in the USA not giving the correct light on this? In addition, the outstanding questions that we get from the mere substance given becomes an issue when we see the words of President Trump “this disastrous deal gave this [Iranian] regime — and it’s a regime of great terror — many billions of dollars, some of it in actual cash — a great embarrassment to me as a citizen and to all citizens of the United States,”. Yet how much money was actually released, through the deal and from 2015 onwards? None of that data is available through the articles. So what exactly is US congress playing with now, because this all looks like a really loud smokescreen, all emotion and no contributable facts on the matter. How many banks were part of it (and their names), which two banks refused (double plus points for them two) and in light of merely one $5.7 billion source we need to see the scope of the money, especially in light of the setting that Iran is even now shipping oil to Asia. Are those not valid questions? In all this, where were the FBI and CIA when this was going down and more importantly why is there no mention of their part in all this, or were they not part of any of it? That is equally an issue, because if there is evidence that they were in different states of activity and actionable requirements regarding Iran during the two presidencies, the people have an equal right to know, do they not? You see, in the larger scope that matters, because the Yemeni issue is covering two presidencies, so if (a very clear if) the CIA was less vigilant during the previous presidency, it might also explain a few things on how missiles are getting shipped from Iran to Yemen, if the manifest states 1013 barrels of oil for humanitarian aid, it might explain a little more than we bargained for. Now the last part was speculative and knowingly incorrect, yet the question remains valid. This was not some article from the enquirer, or the Canton Cherokee Tribune, it is the Washington Post. In many (global) cases that newspaper is seen as gospel right next to the Financial Times, so when two articles give us so many questions in all this, I need to wrap my head around the option that Martin Baron is either on vacation or perhaps down with the flu. The man who inspired Tom McCarthy to make Spotlight should have a better grasp on the entire Iranian fund issue and how it should be made visible in my Hummer opinion.

Because behind all this is not merely the oil, or the Iranian uranium enrichment plans. It in equal measure gives another light that we get from “The draft involved a general license, a blanket go-ahead that allows all transactions of a certain type, rather than a specific license like the one given to Oman’s Bank Muscat, which only covers specific transactions and institutions“, you see, if that is in play and when we remember the G30 bankers group, the one that got some limelight, for ONE DAY. After that all the media dropped the issues when the people were given the sight of Mario Draghi being a member of this insiders only club, a club that he had to give up and no one (except for me that is) followed up on that. All the media left it alone. So when we see that part from April 18th 2018, where Reuters and the Financial Times give us that he would remain a member, the ECB and others never acted on it and silently wait it to go away, now we see the Omani Conundrum issue and I have to wonder, as bankers will do trade with anyone, what licenses are out there that no one knows about, more important, whoever the owner of the funds are that they get to play with ahead of all other banks, with close to €3 trillion in extra printed money for the game of bonds, in all this, what else are we not seeing and as this optionally directly reflects on Iran’s and all the billions we are left unaware of, how is it that the Washington Post seems to not care (or rather stated, believingly unimportant issues that are therefor not investigated) are out there with two pages set to issues in a setting of ‘the plan failed‘ and ‘at the end of the day, nothing worked‘. Which makes me wonder if any transgression was committed and what it was all about. Time will tell whether we see more revelations tomorrow and more important if it leads to anything actionable, because that will be come the heart of the matter soon enough.

 

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Cheese Pizza with Oregano

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

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

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

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

 

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