Tag Archives: Monopoly

Innuendo on the aftermath

The BBC is giving us more, and more, and more. Now they give us “The coronavirus crisis might be causing widespread economic upheaval around the world, but the world’s biggest tech firms are thriving.” And why is that? Consider the simple truth, Apple, even though not completely innovative, does give us something lovely. A lot of people got access to their Super early because of the Coronavirus, we do not want to splash and splurge, but when you are in lockdown, you cannot escape yourself, you can stare down the walls, go insane, or do something else. Surf the web using a Apple iPhone, or a Google Pixar, read a book, play a game or watch a DVD that is ordered via Amazon, then there is the surfing and 2 billion visit Facebook, so yes ‘the world’s biggest tech firms are thriving’, shops would not have been a great offer, lockdowns do that, but the people can order things and some get the hardware to do this. When you have one day to live, the option to see in brilliance and astounding quality matters a great deal to that person. And in all this, the digital highway will be travelled a lot more than usual, people working from home, people being denied high resolution Netflix because the internet if congested, but the advertisements go through, and we all see them. Then we get “At a hearing in Washington on Wednesday, lawmakers grilled the companies about whether they were abusing their dominance to quash rivals, noting the sharp contrast between their fortunes and many other firms”, as I personally see it, they aren’t quashing rivals, they are using their expertise to gain faster and more. 

Beyond that there is “Republican congressman Jim Sensenbrenner asked Mark Zuckerberg why Twitter had removed a post by the US president’s son, Donald Trump Jr, discussing the efficacy of the drug hydroxychloroquine. Twitter is not owned by Facebook. “I think what you might be referring to happened on Twitter, so it’s hard for me to speak to that,” said Mr Zuckerberg.””it gives my earlier view on the stupidity of politicians, as Jim Sensenbrenner cannot tell who owns what and addresses the wrong person on the matter, we see the Cowboy show I expected to see, a waste of time, and poor entertainment at that. 

It becomes a larger issues when we see “Democratic congresswoman Pramila Jayapal asked Jeff Bezos for a “yes or no” answer: Did Amazon ever use seller data to make its own business decisions? This was a reference to reports that Amazon has used data gathered from businesses selling products via its site to design and price its own rival first-party goods – something the firm has previously suggested had been limited to a group of rogue employees. Mr Bezos responded that he couldn’t give an answer in such simple terms” That is part of the problem, the lack of knowledge, when we look at “Did Amazon ever use seller data to make its own business decisions?” What exactly is ‘seller data?’, is it a cookie that the users has agreed on, was it sales data from the application that was used, as such, what application data is in play? Was it a customer review? Three questions that rip out the threads of the conversation. As such, as we saw Democratic congresswoman Pramila Jayapal rip Attorney General William Barr to shreds, she should have known better from the start, and we go from cowboy act to dog and pony show. In all this there is also debate on ‘to make its own business decisions’, especially as APN partners have options to make choices and decisions, it was a poorly phrased question and a wrongly lit situation from the get go. And last but not least we see “Republican congressman Matt Gaetz claimed that Google collaborates with Chinese universities that take “millions upon millions of dollars from the Chinese military” and noted that tech investor Peter Thiel had previously accused the company of “treason””, so how stupid is Matt Gaetz and where does he have ANY evidence that Google was taking money from the ‘Chinese military’? It is these levels of stupidity that gets no results, mere innuendo, yet they ALL seems to agree that overhauling Tax laws and competition laws would be a larger need, especially that in light of 5G and optionally 5G plus (a new IP I am working out) the need to both would be essential in keeping the playing field level, but these politicians, but their own account they sealed their own lives. Even as we see: “But Cicilline goes on: “This is the tip of the iceberg. It’s not just about Covid. Facebook gets away with it because there is no competitor. It’s the only game in town.”” I still remember the setting in 1997, I saw so called bullet point executives having no clue on the digital highway, dismissing it of hand as some paths had no business purpose, the setting did not change before 5 years AFTER Facebook was created by people lacking innovative vision and trying to bleed off Facebook settings, and history is about to repeat itself in the 5G environment, the back-fall is that big and US Congress, seemingly ignorant of the digital dimension are making things worse by stopping the only 4 resources in the US who have a chance of c countering what comes next. So well done djotto’s! And it does not end there. Considering the lacking intelligence by these democrats, when the people realise just how far it lacked, we get to see that the upcoming election is not a given, not by a long shot. I keep on wondering what the hearing was about, when will we get to see these documents and so called evidence that they rely on? I wonder how many holes I get to shoot into that part of the equation. I talk about innuendo and here it is, proudly brought to you by the BBC. It was Republican Greg Steube who sets that in motion with the question “Do you believe the Chinese government is stealing technology from US companies?”, mind you that he tried to push for a yes-or-no answer in light of the simplistic minds that these members of Congress have. Yet consider that the most powerful tech bosses and owners of the IP stated “I don’t know of specific cases where we have been stolen from by the government” (Tim Cook), and that is the first part where we see the issue. Then there was “no first-hand knowledge of any information stolen from Google in this regard” (Sundar Pichai), “I haven’t seen that personally but I’ve heard many reports of it” (Jeff Bezos), in this we only have Mark Zuckerberg who gives us “I think it’s well documented that the Chinese government steals technology from US companies”, this issue here is in the first that it was narrow-minded to set a shallow question on a closed answer, all whilst Tim Cook gives us that he does not know the the Chinese government is stealing, but cheap knock off’s, especially when it is promoted by Kylie and Kendall Jenner (at https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-53596192) are getting promoted by people of no mind and a clever approach on what they can get away with, I think they are called criminals. Sundar supports the view, or basically leads in his own fairway that Google was not a victim of that approach. We get Jeff giving us that he has seen many reports, yet I wonder who wrote them, I hope he is not relying on FTI Consulting for more than one reason. Only Marky Mark remains, I cannot fault his view and perhaps he is right, but in light of the Bezos hacking view and the issue on Sony and North Korea, there are too many questions on who does what and so far too many issues have left us with too many questions on how short the comings of come of the US cyber divisions really are, and that is not all. The hand that could be feeding them is the hand they are biting whilst not adjusting for the laws to make a proper job, that is the setting that we are left with in the aftermath and the innuendo around us leaves us with questions on politicians seeking the limelight. And why was Microsoft not there?

It is a weird setting and it will get a lot weirder in 2021. 

 

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The new Monopoly game

Do you remember playing monopoly? Did you ever play it? I grew up loving it. I am not some realtor, some real estate dreamer beyond the dream of having my own place. Most of us are like that. Just the time when I was young and the family played that game, or plying it with a couple of friends. I ended up having several versions, including the replica original with coins, in a wooden box, just a cool thing to have. So when we consider this game, as the prices of the streets were shown in those days; we knew that blue was the highest an always out of our reach. I lived in a green property for some time, so life felt good, yet today, Yellow, Red, Orange, Purple and light blue are no longer in my view of affordability, in the best case, I might be able to get one of the brown coloured properties. This is how the market changed in a mere 22 years. From an optional 80% of the map to a mere 2 out of 16, that is all that was left to me. So when I read ‘Total UK wealth tops £10tn thanks to City and property boom‘ by Larry Elliott (at https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/aug/08/total-uk-wealth-city-property-homes-inequality-saving), I just had to laugh. I understand that he might be trying to have a sense of humour about it. Yet when we see “A booming City and rising house prices provided a double boost to Britons holding assets in 2016 as they pushed the nation’s wealth through the £10tn mark, according to a new survey“, the question becomes: ‘How much of that is NOT owned by foreign investors?‘ Is that a weird question or what? Even as we see “Since the better off held a greater proportion of these assets, 40% of the gains of rising share and bond prices went to the richest 5% of households“, is ‘households’ correct or should it read clients represented by British law and accountancy firms, representing foreign interests in the UK? With “The £3.9tn increase in the value of residential property and financial assets owned by UK residents represented a 59% rise, whereas prices rose by 39% and gross household income was up 37%“, we see again the ‘UK resident‘ part and when we take a look at the government (at http://www.ukimmigration.com/investor/uk_investor_visa.htm), we see that basically any person investing in any property (as the London bulk is well over £1 million, the threshold for foreign investors is reached), which beckons the call, when we start digging into UK residents versus UK citizens, how will this all end? Lloyds shows even more sense of humour with “Lloyds said its figure excluded non-residential property and assets held by charities and other non-profit institutions“, which clearly includes all the foreign investors and they are always in it for the profit. It is the final part that gives the new consideration “However, a continued low mortgage rate environment, combined with an ongoing shortage of properties for sale, should help continue to support house prices over the coming months“. This now gives the premise, have the current and previous governments been guilty of betraying the British people by setting the stage of ‘ongoing shortage of properties for sale‘, in this we see the historic part that former Prime minister Margaret Thatcher was the last of the prime ministers giving a rising and clear need for social housing. We see this in the 2015 article from the BBC (at http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-14380936) where the amount of social housing went up in the beginning of her ‘reign’ to the highest ever recorded surpassing 150,000 right-to-buy, it took a small dive and in 1987 it got back to around 140,000, after she was succeeded in 1990, social housing took a steep dive to below 50,000 and from there it just went down and down. At the end of the labour reign in 2010 it was at the lowest stage ever, only now is there a small increase visible in that graph. Yet in the BBC article we also see a problem, even as it compares to 1918 where owner occupied is a mere 23%, the 2012-2013 part where 65% is owner occupied is as I call it ‘misrepresented‘ at 65%, because how much of that is empty and what part is foreign invested? You see, plenty of places in London are not offered for rent, but for lease, so who is the owner in that case and where does this fit in that graph? If we add the privately rented, we see that socially rented is a mere 16% (way higher than 1918), yet as we see the Thatcher numbers, who got the people there and how were the people kept out of affordable housing by not making that available. In Australia it might be as bad as the valid people in NSW housing are on the lists for a time in excess of 6 years. So how is that a solution to solving housing issues? And let’s not forget, when the housing is set and forced to become a larger contributor to social (read affordable) housing, what then remains of this ‘£10tn UK wealth‘ housing side? The fact that both sides of the political isle have been in denial and remiss to get any of that solved and Jeremy Corbyn claims to have a solution by pushing the UK in even deeper debt, deeper by the better part of a trillion pounds. So how does that help anyone?

Now, we might accept and understand that life in London is never affordable ever again, yet the political isles must equally accept that this change could constitute an infrastructure collapse. This gets us to some old news. In August 2014 we saw (at https://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2014/aug/07/london-gets-24-times-as-much-infrastructure-north-east-england) the mention ‘London gets 24 times as much spent on infrastructure per resident than north-east England‘ which is a nice title, yet the dangers are shown soon thereafter. With “more than half of that total was down to the decommissioning of the Sellafield nuclear plant in Cumbria – necessary, doubtless, but hardly an infrastructure ‘improvement’ as most people would understand it” we see only part of the danger. The quote “New analysis of public infrastructure spending by IPPR North lays bare the gap between how much capital expenditure there is in the capital than the rest of England” shows another part, yet the actual issue is not what is spent, but what is required to get something done. When we paraphrase it into “analysis of public infrastructure spending by IPPR North lays bare the gap between how much is required for the same amount of work in London compared to the rest of England” we see the dangers, when the infrastructure maintenance is 2400% of the rest of the UK, there is a danger, yet is it the correct one? In February this year, we see a partial repetition of the old Guardian article, yet with updated numbers it shows (at https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/feb/20/more-than-half-uk-investment-in-transport-is-in-london-says-study) that London requires 50% of all the funds. In all this we are not given any reliable numbers, because in all this I do not see the comparison of £ per mile of rail serviced. Consider that London has 20 times the amounts of rail that most places have and he London rail when stretched can get a person from Waterloo station to Glasgow five times over (OK, slight exaggeration). Yet the message should be clear. As the infrastructure has less options with in addition less people being anywhere near it, the city of London is facing all levels of collapse. Another part was shown on July 17th in the Independent. The title ‘More than half a million social homes in England do not meet basic health and safety standards‘ is the first indication that social housing and infrastructure are beyond collapsing. With quotes like ‘almost one in seven of all social homes in England‘ are below standards, we see a dangerous escalation. So in this we see a mention of 224,000 houses where the most dangerous safety hazards (category one) is seen. It includes “exposed wiring, overloaded electricity sockets, dangerous boilers, leaking roofs, vermin infestations or inadequate security“, yes, the right and proper place to get your partner pregnant and start a family, would you not agree?

Even as we now see that the Grenfell disaster is a first step in looking into cladding, they all seem to forget that the cladding was done to appease the houses around Grenfell, in addition, the other failures and dangers are basically the non-cladding issues, so the mess is a lot bigger. when we consider the quote “Local authorities have a legal duty to act if a category one hazard is discovered, but hundreds of thousands are going unreported or ignored” we see a much clearer situation where government and city council members could be held accountable towards the transgression of ‘reckless endangerment‘ of lives, so in all this, what is the CPS doing? Has the Crown Prosecution Services made any start on taking a look at this, because these 244,000 houses would in theory represent 300,000 people working to some degree for the London Infrastructure, being it the underground, busses or other civil offices, if even 10% falls away, what happens then? How much pressure, increased costs and non-functional infrastructure remains for London at that point? It seems that the City of London has no way of dealing with such dangerous terms. As I see it, Lord Mayor Sadiq Khan has his work cut out for him. We should all agree that he did not cause this, but he can equally agree that it is on his plate at present and his success will be weighed against his ability to lower that danger and remove the hazards within his largely leased London city.

So as we look at the wealth boom, how exactly is it benefiting the UK and specifically London? As London becomes less and less affordable, as its ‘status’ as premium investment location continues, we might soon see a London that even the tourists can no longer afford. This is not a danger at present with the dropping pound against the Euro, so London is a great place to visit for Europeans. Yet the reality is that this benefit is merely short term, the dangers as the UK turns its economy around, which they will for certain, gives dangers that the dangers I predict are merely 5 years away. When that happens the tourism part will drop, not by a small part, but by a phenomenal amount (In my speculative view well over 20%), so whoever is investing now needs to get that part back in 4 years, they might be facing deadly competition for the few remaining tourists after that. The Time in 2015 talked about the tourism bubble and set it to greed, I think that it is not merely greed; in all this the infrastructure that is dangerously close to a collapse would be a much larger contributing item in all this. So as we see that the infrastructure is in a dangerous place, we need to wonder how the UK government will be addressing this. It is not like it is not a clearly visible issue. It is merely one of several critical issues that the UK faces. Yet in this, the housing part is also the contributing factor for other sides of infrastructure as well. We saw 3 weeks ago that the NHS has 86,000 posts vacant. Not only can they not be filled, even if there was a person available, the reality is that for nurses life in London has become largely unaffordable, which hits social housing as well as infrastructure, a clear visible item known for the better part of 3 years. As a conservative I would be willing to blame my political party, yet the BBC chart clearly shows that as the conservatives came back into office the social housing curve was moving back up (to the smallest degree). Now, there is part that was done by the previous labour government, but only to an even smaller degree. In this I will end with an article that the Business insider has in 2015, in it we see the minimum income per area, when we take a look is that only the cheapest place was affordable for NHS nurses, 54 miles from the hospital, anything nearer would require double the income they presently have, some places are forever out of their reach. Even whilst I know of some places in Swiss Cottage, Southwark and West Brompton, it is shy of the 86,000 places, it will not even give aid to 1%, or 860 places to live in. So, as some people are shrugging at the £10tn wealth value, or the imaginative issue that the NHS problem will solve itself. We need to realise that a few of these issues were interconnected and have been for many years. In this Labour and Conservatives are both to blame, they achieved nothing in stopping, or decently reducing the danger. So when you look at the Monopoly board consider the 22 places and which of these streets you cannot afford a place to live in. So how was this UK wealth any help in resolving the quality of life for those not in the top 5% wealth part, which amounts 98.85% of the UK population, foreign investors excluded.

Consider that side when the next rent is due, and more important, even as all the papers are shouting about rent drops, in the end, the rental price is merely increasing slower for now. With the rent being on average set to £1,500, the 12 month increase is set between £22 and £35 a month depending on your condition, so when you consider that if these people are lucky, their pay increase ended up being up to £61 a month, we see that the increase only takes care of the rent, it will not hold water to take care of the increased price of groceries or heating, so the outlook for the British tenant will be gloomy this Christmas. And before you start blaming Brexit, it would not have mattered one bit. If anyone tells you different, as I personally see it, they would be lying to you.

The people in Britain are seeing a new Monopoly board. Where you start with £800 and passing start gets you a mere £100, in addition add 15% to every street in the first 5 turns and add another 15% for the rest of the game. The final changes are 40% more due for any station and set utilities to 15 times rolled, regardless if it is one or both owned. Now we get a slightly more realistic version of the game as we live it today, so how far would you get in that version of the game? I might want to add that we would need to add 4 pubs, one for each side and treat them like the stations, yet the amount due is 10 times the rolled dice. It seems that our childhood monopoly is the one we still think we live at times, even as we never had any ambitions to own hotels, we always expected to get one house in one street sometimes in our lives; the reality is that this is no longer an expected reality. The reality is now that whomever owns and keeps a place, leaving that to the children is the only guarantee that they have any future at all in the UK, a reality that was not due to Brexit, but due to a government having other commitments, one that was to spending too much whilst not having any backup in place, it is the reality all in the UK face until well over 2040. I still believe that the conservative path to diminish the debt is the only way out and when we consider the news about the £40 billion divorce bill, that is not too weird, because at present Mario Draghi is spending 150% of that every month and getting out now seems to be a lot safer than being around when that collapses, or is that explodes into the faces of EU citizens? Most disagree with me on that, loads of them with economic degrees and that is fine. As I see it, the people all over are in denial of previous debts made and seem to imply that it is not for them to solve, so at your banks when you borrow £2500 every month to pay for things like rent, do you think that you will not have to pay any of it back? Do you think that financial institutions are that philanthropically minded? So as City AM announced on July 17thEurozone inflation fell in June, the European Commission today confirmed, easing pressure on the European Central Bank (ECB) to start tightening monetary policy at its next announcement on Thursday”, yet a week later we see “Draghi struck a dovish tone at the meeting in Frankfurt, with no firm date given to an announcement on the future of the quantitative easing programme, but investors were not convinced”, which we got on Friday July 21st. So as the spenders are all in denial on several levels, we see that their impact could be a disaster for London when that hits, I have stated in personal belief that getting out of that mess sooner would be essential for the UK. A mere week ago we saw (at https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-08-03/big-investors-losing-faith-in-europe-s-ecb-fuelled-junk-rally). Now we see the first mention, not of QE, but the mentioning of ‘ECB-Fuelled Junk Rally’, Bloomberg is now speaking almost the same parts that I have advocated against for many months. With the quote “Deutsche Asset Management has reduced holdings of European junk bonds in its 100 billion euro ($106 billion) multi-asset portfolios and JPMorgan Asset Management says investors should brace for a tough second half. BlackRock Inc. says risks for European credit are tilted to the downside and Nataxis SA recommends dialing back high-yield debt exposure” the large players seem to accept (read: come to the conclusion) the dangers I warned for, for many months, this is a dangers that Brexit should avoid. So, as some players are trying to delay it all, so that the UK gets part of that additional 2 trillion (as I see it).

These matters are connected, you see, when those players try to escape the sewers they will seek other parts that give rise to returns on investment that avoids their downfall, this is where the Monopoly game comes in. Because the reality is that this mentioned UK wealth of £10tn could be the escape hatch they need, yet in that the dangers to the infrastructure would only increase, I might be wrong in that view, yet it is merely my view. So feel free to disagree, providing you do not cry when I am proven correct yet again.

 

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