Tag Archives: Moody

The G30 court

There is an issue, an issue that we are all missing, more for the reason that after January 17th the media is steering clear of this with all the might and options they had. I reckon that they will spin this in a setting that it is ‘uninteresting‘, but when was it ever uninteresting to look at a group of 30 that has the alleged advantage of getting their fingers into a pool that has 0% risk worth billions?

The more important part is that there was one mention, or at least only one that was found, on July 7th 2017 and November 3rd 2017, both come from Reuters, the media has become that much of a bean flicking, pole pulling grape flocked bunch of pussies as I personally see it. Yet, the fact is that even as the impact is speculated, the setting given is that a group of 30 had an optional exclusive insight in the 3 trillion dollar ECB spending. Consider that each of these 30 got a 1% portfolio, where 75% of it was set at 0% whilst the remaining 25% might have op to 3% risk, in this setting the underwritten $31 billion for each member would set a speculated sanctified security of a multiple factors of $31 billion each. An elite group of 30 all having the top of the financial services cream at zero risk with the optional massive returns none of us ever had insight to. Now I can see that a mere 0.01% of that 1% would set me up for life, and that is merely the one source, the ‘in-crowd’, now would that be the incestuous insider towards untapped ‘considerations of investment‘ and they would all be bringing their own portfolios and economic insight on how to maximise that? Adding the man (read: Mario Draghi) spending Europe’s $3.1 trillion would happily be allowed into their midst, it is merely the setting that this rigs the game towards 30 participants whilst giving a weighted disadvantage to all other bankers is still an issue not covered by anyone.

So as we saw last November ‘ECB says not its call to publish content of Draghi’s meetings with financiers‘ (at https://www.reuters.com/article/us-ecb-banks-ethics/ecb-says-not-its-call-to-publish-content-of-draghis-meetings-with-financiers-idUSKBN1D327U) whilst we also see “At issue is Draghi’s membership of the so-called Group of 30, where policymakers meet bankers, fund managers and academics behind closed doors to discuss economic issues. He sits alongside former and current central bankers, such as Bank of England Governor Mark Carney and the Bank of Japan’s Haruhiko Kuroda, as well as Nobel laureate Paul Krugman

Yet even as we see “Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly had asked whether the ECB would “consider proactively informing the public of the content of these meetings” in response to “a complaint by activist group Corporate Europe Observatory, which said in January it was concerned about proximity at the G30 of ECB officials and bankers they are meant to supervise“, I cannot help but wonder what both Emily O’Reilly and Corporate Europe Observatory left unmentioned. It was also mentioned by the Dutch Volkskrant where the Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO) member Olivier Hoedeman added comment.

I tried to find more, so even as we have found Mario Draghi, Mark Carney, Haruhiko Kuroda and Paul Krugman as confirmed names (from the media), I initially believed that Groupe Credit Agricole (most likely Dominique Lefebvre) would be a member, I am also speculating that Peter Smith (as director of N M Rothschild & Sons) might have been a member of that group. There are a few other players, but it becomes increasingly less certain even from a speculated point of view. What does matter is that this is not merely some ‘secretive’ babble group. Even as we see last July “In a letter to Draghi that was published on Friday, European Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly said the meetings of the Group of Thirty, where central bankers, economists and financiers talk behind closed doors, are “not transparent” and questioned the ECB president’s membership of the club” as well as “Draghi has until September to reply to the letter in writing“, in that, the media and so called journalism stayed clear of this for the largest extent and the ECB did respond in October 2017 in the attached part. In my view, it all sounds nice but a select group of 30 with a pool of a number in excess of 6 trillion, where 30 people get first dibs on a risk bonus that goes beyond the comprehension of many and the media buries it on page 62 is a much larger issue, especially when the response on page 9 gives us “Moreover, Article 130 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union safeguards the independence of the ECB and of the members of its decision-making bodies” whilst we all know that a mere fraction of $6 trillion has been a case for shifted morals and readjusted (read: weighted morals) in many regards, there are countless hours on C-SPAN that saw those liquid morals and settings in regards to the 2008 events, so the idea of ’30’ members ending up with golden parachute the size of Australia is not that much of a leap, speculated or not. So when we look back to the 2008 events and we see in January 2017, nine years later “The credit rating agency Moody’s has agreed to pay nearly $864m to settle with US federal and state authorities over its ratings of risky mortgage securities in the run-up to the 2008 financial crisis, the department of justice said on Friday“, whilst the damage from the 2008 crash was set to top $22 trillion, we should ask the US Justice department on where the remaining 21.991 trillion is and who was supposed to pay for that. So in all this the fact that the media is steering clear from the G30 and asking, or actually not asking anything past the Reuters articles seen should give alarm bells on many sides, not merely the media.

The EU Parliament magazine (at https://www.theparliamentmagazine.eu/articles/news/mario-draghi-under-fire-g30-membership), also gives us “CEO’s monetary and financial policy researcher Kenneth Haar said, “The Ombudsman’s decision is timely and very positive. Draghi’s involvement with the G30 was ill-advised from the start. Since 2016, when the ECB’s mandate for banking supervision was extended, the close ties between the president and the bankers’ group has become absolutely unacceptable“, or is that gave, because it is past tense and so far the media has remained silent since January 17. It seems to me (extremely speculative) that these 30 members are either connected or involved with the shareholders, stakeholders or advertisers in the media, because the media seems to be at all times protective of these three groups, whilst merely informing on those three groups in a filtered way, or to the smallest degree unless it was already out there in the field. The fact that this group has such a global hold is an issue and I might have been a lot less speculated on this, but the lack of transparency as well as the fact that we see “Tyga Gives Kim Kardashian A Hilarious Spelling Lesson On Social Media” and other Kim Kardashian on a daily basis, whilst the media remains silent on the speculated distributors of no risk trillions is a weird setting, especially when those sources have their fingers in thousands of billions. So when we see the BBC with: ‘Is it time we all unfollowed Kim Kardashian?‘, we might wonder whether it is yea or nea, yet there is a speculated 99.9999% likelihood that the G30 members will not make the cut towards monitored inclusion on following, I am certain that the first one that acts on that is has a boss who is likely (again speculated) to get a quick phone call from a shareholder, stakeholder or large advertiser to wonder if they have any grasp on their staff members and whether they want to manage or become managed.

Do you think that this is a stretch?

From my personal point of view I would give to you Sony (2012) issues, in regards to the change to the Terms of Service. The media ignored it, even as it would impact a group of 30 million consumers. Most of those players merely just trivialised it via ‘there is a memo‘ on it. The rest did even less; some even ignored it all together. With Microsoft (2017/2018) we see even more (at https://www.computerworld.com/article/3257225/microsoft-windows/intel-releases-more-meltdownspectre-firmware-fixes-microsoft-feints-an-sp3-patch.html)

You’d have to be incredibly trusting — of both Microsoft and Intel — to manually install any Surface firmware patch at this point. Particularly when you realize that not one single Meltdown or Spectre-related exploit is in the wild. Not one“, the amount of visibility (apart from marketed Microsoft Central views) is close to null, a system with no more than 17 million users is marketed and advertised to the gills, so the media seems to steer clear, merely two examples in a field that is loaded with examples.

Back to the group

So as I gave the speculated view earlier on the ‘whom’, we can see the full list (at http://group30.org/members), these members are according to the website:

  • Jacob A. Frenkel, Chairman, JPMorgan Chase International
  • Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Deputy Prime Minister, Singapore
  • Guillermo Ortiz, Chairman, BTG Pactual Latin America ex-Brazil
  • Paul A. Volcker, Former Chairman, Federal Reserve System
  • Jean-Claude Trichet, Former President, European Central Bank
  • Leszek Balcerowicz, Former Governor, National Bank of Poland
  • Ben Bernanke, Former Chairman, Federal Reserve System
  • Mark Carney, Governor, Bank of England
  • Agustín Carstens, Former Governor, Banco de México
  • Jaime Caruana, Former Governor, Banco de Espana
  • Domingo Cavallo, Former Minister of Economy, Argentina
  • Mario Draghi, President, European Central Bank
  • William C. Dudley, President, Federal Reserve Bank of New York
  • Roger W. Ferguson, Jr., President and CEO, TIAA
  • Arminio Fraga, Founding Partner, Gavea Investimentos
  • Timothy Geithner, President, Warburg Pincus
  • Gerd Häusler, Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Bayerische Landesbank
  • Philipp Hildebrand, Vice Chairman, BlackRock
  • Gail Kelly, Global Board of Advisors, US Council on Foreign Relations
  • Mervyn King, Member, House of Lords
  • Paul Krugman, Distinguished Professor, Graduate Center, CUNY
  • Christian Noyer, Honorary Governor, Banque de France
  • Raghuram G. Rajan, Distinguished Service Professor of Finance
  • Maria Ramos, Chief Executive Officer, Barclays Africa Group
  • Kenneth Rogoff, Professor of Economics, Harvard University
  • Masaaki Shirakawa, Former Governor, Bank of Japan
  • Lawrence Summers, Charles W. Eliot University Professor at Harvard University
  • Tidjane Thiam, CEO, Credit Suisse
  • Adair Turner, Former Chairman, Financial Services Authority
  • Kevin Warsh, Lecturer, Stanford University Graduate School of Business
  • Axel A. Weber, Former President, Deutsche Bundesbank
  • Ernesto Zedillo, Former President of Mexico
  • Zhou Xiaochuan, Governor, People’s Bank of China

They also have senior members, which is interesting as they are younger than at least one of the current members, as well as the fact that most of the members in the current, senior and emeritus group have multiple titles.

  • Stanley Fischer, Former Governor of the Bank of Israel
  • Haruhiko Kuroda, Governor, Bank of Japan
  • Janet Yellen, Former Chair, Federal Reserve System

And the Emeritus members:

  • Abdlatif Al-Hamad, Former Minister of Finance and Planning, Kuwait
  • Geoffrey L. Bell, President, Geoffrey Bell and Associates
  • Gerald Corrigan, Managing Director, Goldman Sachs Group, Inc.
  • Guillermo de la Dehesa, Chairman, Aviva Grupo Corporativo
  • Jacques de Larosière, Former Director, IMF
  • Richard A. Debs, Former President, Morgan Stanley International
  • Martin Feldstein, Professor of Economics, Harvard University
  • Gerhard Fels, Former Member, UN Committee for Development Planning
  • Toyoo Gyohten, Former Chairman, Bank of Tokyo
  • John Heimann, Senior Advisor, Financial Stability Institute
  • Sylvia Ostry, Former Ambassador for Trade Negotiations, Canada
  • William R. Rhodes, President and CEO, William R. Rhodes Global Advisors
  • Ernest Stern, Former Managing Director; The World Bank
  • David Walker, Former Chairman, Barclays
  • Marina v N. Whitman, Professor; University of Michigan
  • Yutaka Yamaguchi, Former Deputy Governor, Bank of Japan

So this group of 30 is slightly larger and in the group each of these members would have the power and economic impact to tell any member of the Fortune500 what to do, or better stated and more important ‘what not to do!‘ It is in that instance that we see the first impact. A game that now looks as I personally see it rigged in several ways; so even as I was allegedly wrong about Dominique Lefebvre or a direct peer, we see Christian Noyer. So in my view, in a 2015 French article on the issue of “Who will succeed Christian Noyer as head of the Banque de France?“, we see “Mario Draghi, the president of the ECB, seems to have had the idea to see his right arm go. Benoît Coeuré would be an important ally for the Italian in the Council of the Governor“, yet in the light of the G30, it seems to me that such a discussion would have been set into a pre-emptive conclusion of who would needed to have been made king in that castle. When we see that in light of a previous article, namely ‘The Global Economic Switch‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2018/03/06/the-global-economic-switch/), were well over 500 billion is to be invested and grown, in addition to the fact that the SAMA has oversight to well over 2 trillion dollars, how come that they do not have a seat at the table? In the same way that the Rothschild’s are not there, but they might be ‘represented‘ through Bernanke or Frenkel, whilst it is not impossible that Mario Draghi might be giving them the low-down to some degree, yet the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with that much money on the ladle of expansion, that they are not part of it. In a world where that group is about (according to their own website) “The Group of Thirty, established in 1978, is a private, non-profit, international body composed of very senior representatives of the private and public sectors and academia. It aims to deepen understanding of international economic and financial issues, and to explore the international repercussions of decisions taken in the public and private sectors“, where the foundation of Saudi Arabia has been the power of OPEC and the power to instil the push to be a global player in many fields, in that sight in represented value that the repercussions of decisions are set at, to see the Bank of Israel yet not some link to SAMA (Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority) makes equally less sense in the line of thinking that the ‘about‘ section gives us, which makes me wonder what these members are about. they might be all about that, yet what else they are about, or what else they have a useful value in gives rise to my train of thought on where this train with less than 55 occupants is heading off to, and more so, in light of the power that these ‘30’ members have, the fact that the G30 is not the cover talk of many newspapers, especially the Financial Times is beyond me, because anyone coming to you with ‘No News’ or outdated news, or even worse that there is no real issue in play is clearly told what not to write.

It seems to me that not only is there more in play, the personal speculated view that I have in light of learning more and more about the G30 merely confirms my suspicions, as well as the insight that I am getting (a speculated one) where the media is steering clear from all this is a much larger issue. To what and in which direction is one I am not willing to go into, because I know that the ice is wafer thin at this point and skating on water is a realistic ‘no no’, yet the feeling that these members are getting a first view and optionally the option to dip their cups on plenty into a grape juice barrel of risk-less profit is one that I feel is very much in play. This G30 group is networking on an entirely new level, one that I have never seen before. This is not some kingmaker into presidency; this is a long term group where the optional billions will keep on flowing for decades to come. And this all in a setting of non-transparency, because this goes way beyond the 3 publications in 2016 and of course all those papers published before that. In the 2016 publication ‘Shadow Banking and Capital Markets: risks and opportunities‘, (at http://group30.org/images/uploads/publications/ShadowBankingCapitalMarkets_G30.pdf), we see in the conclusion on page 49: “Moreover, growing leverage across the global Economy can create important risks to macroeconomic stability even if the financial system itself is more resilient. And two developments are particularly concerning: the growth of emerging market foreign currency debt and the rapid growth of Chinese leverage accompanied by a proliferation of shadow banking activities are ominously reminiscent of precrisis developments in the advanced economies“, which is in view of the experts would be nothing new, yet resources available and the 36 exhibits and the recommendations would have been available to the G30 group much earlier than anyone else. In that light, we need to wonder not merely on the setting, in Exhibit 36 we see mortgage losses and the fact that there is the US, Canada and Europe, so in that light the fact that the fourth one is the Netherlands, is that not odd? In light of several settings, France, Germany, Italy and the UK, any of these four would have made perfect sense, so why the Netherlands? Exhibit 33 might have been a reason for this, yet in equal measure the absence of Scandinavia and Italy in this setting now adds to the questions. I think it is not merely choice and presentation, the absence of those players give rise to questions, perhaps even speculated questions and as there are none to be given, it makes me wonder what else is missing, what other data was filtered because in the light of data and presentation there is one golden rule I have always kept in the back of my mind.

The Analyst shows you which investment needs to be made, the presentation makes you look forward to the invoice.

So what invoice is the G30 group making you look forward to and where did it need to go? Two questions with optionally very different results, and in that setting, whilst you know the impact the European economy has had over the last 15 years, whilst we also know that Mario Draghi has been spending $3 trillion, in that setting the G30 does not make the news?

Who is getting fooled by all this and who is getting fooled by making sure that you do not get to notice this?

It is a much larger playing field that is from whatever point of view you have a field of inclusion, or a field of exclusion, yet in all this there are questions that are not asked at all, questions that even I am not asking because I decided to go into technology, engineering and law whilst giving a pass on the Economic subjects. Yet the Financial Media is not asking them either and that is an issue, especially in light of that ‘secretive‘ group set to a stage of networking inclusion, or is it networking through filtered exclusion?

I’ll let you decide on that.

 

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Is it all Greek to you?

Let’s take a look at the issues!

First there is Bloomberg who on April 11th headlined ‘Greek Bond Sale Tops $4 Billion in Return to Markets’ (at http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-04-10/greece-readies-bond-sale-as-athens-car-bomb-reminds-of-upheaval.html), a nation with 11 million have notched up their debt by hundreds of billions, no options at present to repay it and again they are allowed to push new bonds into the market.

My first issue: I want to see a list of names of people that allowed for this. There will be no excuse, no non-clarity; they are to be presented by a panel of economists explaining the rationale for this and it should be presented live! (I wonder how long it will be until we hear ‘carefully phrased denials on lack of clarity‘ in regards to who drove this).

I already gave my view on May 18th on my article ‘Are we getting played?‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2014/05/18/are-we-getting-played/), where I stated: “The investor relies on information like credit ratings (from places like S&P and Moody for example) to make an assessment on how realistic the investment is. The fact that almost a month later the quote ‘Greek lenders are likely to face large losses over the next two years’ is seen, gives rise to the question whether any upgrade to the credit rating was valid“.

It seems clear to me that Greece is unable to manage its economy, its debts and its options to repay the debts. Can we please have a vote whether Greek economic affairs should as per January 1st 2015 be managed by either Germany or Turkey (Turkey is not that great an idea, that’s just me being mean)? It seems clear to me, for a long time now, that pouring money into a hole, whilst people keep digging themselves deeper will not result in any resolution. There has been clear evidence of gross negligence for over a decade; as such other measures will be required.

The Bloomberg article states: “Greece today took one more decisive step toward exiting the crisis,” Samaras said. “International markets are now expressing in the most undoubted way possible their confidence in the Greek economy”, I state that this is not the case, Greece is nothing more than an upgraded vulture option, todays information clearly sees this, let’s just be clear, this is just a little over 6 months AFTER that so called vote of confidence.

The second part we see with “The government and European Union predict that the Greek economy will expand 0.6 percent in 2014 after six consecutive years of contraction that has cost about a quarter of the nation’s economic output and sent the unemployment rate surging” I believe we are being intentionally misinformed here. If we look at http://www.tradingeconomics.com/greece/gdp-growth-annual, we see that this year Greece’s GDP annual growth rate is growing by 1.9%, a growth of 1.5% in a year, whilst this nation is in such disarray, such debts and such levels of unemployment, there is, what I see to be an intentional attempt to misinform people. The standards used are no longer applicable. With a little over 1 out of 4 without a job, this nation is a mess; numbers are withheld, or misrepresented, not unlike the entire Goldman Sachs issue in 2010. If you doubt my word against that of those economic ‘boffins’, then look at today’s news.

 

We see ‘Grexit fears send Greek bonds and shares sliding‘, which the Guardian stated 10 hours ago. The quote “The Greek stock market is plunging to new depths, after the prime minister issued dire warnings of chaos ahead if his party were ejected from power“, as well as “Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras on Thursday accused opposition SYRIZA of bringing back Grexit fears and sending a message to the markets not to lend to the country by declaring its sovereign debt unsustainable“. By the way, in my view, the debt was never sustainable. When we consider 300 billion, over 11 million, we see that every Greek needs to bring 27,300 to the table, one out of four has no job, so that costs extra, as well as bring the cost per working Greek now to a little over 33,000. If the average Greek brings home a little less than 10,000, you can see that they come up short by a lot. By the way at 5%, the interest to be brought in would be 20% of a Greek income, whilst at present Greece cannot even properly budget its nations. So, as we look at these numbers, can anyone explain how Greece considers its debt to be sustainable?

Those who allowed Greece to fall in this deep hole should be made public and named, and we are talking Greek names here. Someone signed up for unrealistic debts, misrepresented presentations and the Greek government presented it. The Greek people have a right to know who were behind this titanic blunder. The fact that Austerity measures are not kept and the system is not cleaned up only helps to make a case that Greece should not be allowed to continue to be part of the EEC, because at present they are not in a small measure, the risk, which they could now enable the Euro to collapse completely.

If we consider the reasoning of a quickened election by PM Samaras and the message “Athens exchange has now tumbled by 7%, meaning it has shed 20% of its value since Samaras decided to accelerate the presidential election to next week“, we should wonder why this change is now being made. There are conjectures in play too (partially by me at this point). When we consider another (non proven source, at http://www.zerohedge.com/category/tags/greece), we see ‘Greece Suffers Biggest 3-Day Crash In 27 Years‘, here we see the quote “Did we just get a glimpse of the ugly reality hiding behind the veil of status-quo-maintaining central-bank-sponsored manipulation?“, I have written similar thoughts, but mine were not founded on economic knowledge, just on the data I looked at. One response there was “Central bankers have lied to a false prosperity and zero interest rates as if there is no risk remaining“, which is in line of what I have noticed with economies all over the EEC, I call it ‘managed bad news‘, which seems more apt, but when we see a 20% crater in what is laughingly called ‘Greek valued bonds’, my euphemism of carefully cautious labelling can be thrown out of the front door and perhaps it should be called ‘intentional manipulation for the profit of a few‘. Proving that part takes a little more time, yet those behind the curtain will not be held to account in any way, shape or form and legislating these events seems to be a large ‘No No!’ as well.

So where to look?

Well, if we look at the news CNBC gave us on November 19th, we see “Yields this week have not reached the 9 percent level hit in mid-October when negative sentiment surrounding Greece spread to global markets. However, rising debt yields do highlight that the country’s economic woes are far from over, with a crucial deadline in early December looming large on the horizon” (at http://www.cnbc.com/id/102198319), we also see the following quote “The country managed to exit recession this year and post a positive gross domestic product (GDP) figure last week, but political wrangling has continued nonetheless“, so ‘manage to post a positive…‘, positive by what standards, as well as the part ‘managed’, managed how? Through manufacturing or through manufacturing the books (aka cooking them) with possible assistance from Goldman Sachs or a like-minded institution? The lack of clarity as well as the lack of clear numbers give pause to consider how bad an idea it was to let them back onto the bond market last April.

The final part we get from the Guardian (at http://www.theguardian.com/business/live/2014/dec/11/russia-central-bank-interest-rate-hike-ecb-loans-live#block-54899bc7e4b09dc257b7f1fe), where we see “The 10-year Greek bond is now yielding over 9%, up from 8.7% last night. And the three year bond is now yielding more than 10%, as nervous investors demand a bigger premium for holding debt that matures sooner“, so from a mere 5% to almost 11%, doubling the dividends, is ‘sponsored manipulation‘ THAT far-fetched? I want to see names of those behind the curtains, they are no Wizard of Oz, they are what used to be called the ‘Gnomes of Zurich‘, yet in this day and age, they are virtual, and none of them reside in Zurich, that’s just too old school.

In the end where it their (and our) money, in the form of dividend going to?

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Talking the Walk

Yes, today is an interesting day, in a time when we all have a notion of democracy; we must all wonder how much of a democracy is left. You see the freedom of choice and the choice in options means that the freedom given is also an inherent acceptance of accountability? If we make a small sidestep at this point, then I would like to take a step towards the Media Ethics as stated at mediaethicsmagazine.com.

There in the fall of 2008, T.L. Glasser and J.S. Ettema wrote an interesting article called ‘A Philosophy of Accountability for Journalism’, it is a good article to read and well worth reading (at http://www.mediaethicsmagazine.com/index.php/browse-back-issues/135-fall-2008/3639324-a-philosophy-of-accountability-for-journalism).

The initial line, as in any good academic article is right at the beginning, when we read “The problem of ethics in journalism, we want to argue, is not the inability of journalists to know right from wrong but their inability to talk articulately and reflectively about it“. I from the my viewpoint, for the point of view that many has seen as we see the ‘junk’ articles from Murdoch publications hit us is that the point given reads to many of us (roughly 99.32443% of them non-journalists) see the second phrased as “their inability to avoid accountability by speculate on the words of seemingly non-existent sources they will never reveal“.
What we get is gossip, branded as journalism, a speculative piece where no accountability will ever be required. This is for a lot of people at the heart of the need that the Leveson report would address, which is why Journalists in many nations, especially in the UK as a trade that had lost its integrity to many.
This is however not about the article, yet, I am mentioning it as the article is an excellent piece of work and the article actually is to some extent shows the moral compass within all of us. There is however one more quote that I will not go into now, but it has bearing on what comes next “which reminds us that discourse ethics does not involve a marketplace process which aggregates individual interests but a deliberative process which brings into existence common or shared interests“.

This is about today, the first day of a new day of default for Argentina (at http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jul/31/argentina-government-defiant-debt-default-axel-kicillof). We seem to have been all about the banks and their evil practices. I know, because I have been one of them. The question becomes, what happens when you accept doing business with a loan shark? I wrote about it in my blog ‘Changing the rules of Democracy‘ on July 27th.

When the IMF wanted to restructure debts in 2003, USA as stated stopped the IMF; I want to know the EXACT reasons why. Perhaps they are valid, perhaps not! I also reflected on the fact that someone went to the Vulture funds and signed a deal. What was that deal exactly and who signed it. You see, Argentina is not blameless here; at some point, there is a knock on the door and at that point, the bailiff will want his coin, which is pretty much what was settled in court.

The Guardian article raises a point through the following quote “Economists at the Washington-based Centre for Economic and Policy Research called on the US Congress to intervene, warning in a letter that Griesa’s decision to uphold the holdout investors claim could cause ‘unnecessary economic damage to the international financial system, as well as to US economic interests’“.

You see, in all fairness, is that acceptable? If a system is brought and evolves devoid of accountability, how can we ever get a better world? I have pressed for accountability on many sides. On the side of Journalism as I embrace the full Leveson report, on the side of the banks as their soulless acts have diminished the value of millions of account holders, yet here in this case, are they not on the morally higher ground? No matter how despicable Vulture funds might be regarded as, these people offered a deal on conditions of risk because no bank wanted them, or in the case of Argentina, as the USA seemingly prevented the IMF offering a deal.
Now, when the deal is due, the client requesting the deal is not willing to make payment. So, as the facts are shown, I have to be (alas) n the side of the vulture fund, who offered the deal. If not, then I myself must abandon the premise of accountability, which is pretty much not an option.
If we accept the implications of communicative rationality in the sphere of moral insight and normative validity as the setting for discourse ethics, then I would like to change it (mold it) into the following statement: “If we accept the implications of agreed contract terms of rationality in the sphere of moral choices and normative acceptance of a loan” then we are getting to the part why I added the Journalism article on accountability for journalism.
This I now link to the quote I mentioned from the Guardian article. This is the cost of doing business! Sometimes you win, sometimes you do not, but to go out in response to change the game, because there is a cost, then we have a new problem. Do not misunderstand me, if there is some kind of a bail-out deal, then that is fine, but it would be understandable if it comes at a cost, more important, it might have been avoided all together if the 2003 IMF deal had gone through, so why was the 2003 deal stopped?

I understand and I do not disagree that the Argentine government is stopping it all and taking the ‘default’ path, yet, that too will come at a cost. Accountability should prevail here too. Is it for the better or for the worst? That is a discussion that is speculated upon, but for now it is one that comes without a clear answer. So, I cannot, without clearly more evidence to agree with cabinet chief minister Jorge Capitanich here. You see, who signed for this all in 2003? It is the inherent consequence of governing. The bill is pushed forward, it is a dangerous game that the US is currently excelling at and so if you wonder on why I care about another deal for 1.5 billion dollars, it is mainly because this paves the way for America when it defaults on their 18,000 billion loans, then what?

When we see people hide behind statements like ‘too big to fail‘, you should also consider the fallout when things go wrong. Consider what once happened to the Dutch SNS bank and is now happening to the Argentinian economy, both impacts were felt in large ways and they are not even anywhere near the scale of the debt the US and Japan have. And as we mentioned Japan, is that not the fear many brokers have? If we see the text from Moody’s (at https://www.moodys.com/research/Moodys-Japanese-RMBS-and-ABS-default-rate-declined-in-April–PR_302652).

Someone or something seems to be pushing Japan along, holding them on the safe side for now. Yet, this economic high-wire act is nowhere near done and it is a long walk to go for now. When we read “For CMBS deals, Moody’s outlook for the next 6-12 months is negative, as it will be difficult to refinance defaulted loans with high loan-to-value ratios“, so as refinance is now getting harder and harder, consider the US bonds. Part of the US debt is also the ‘Interest Expense on the Debt Outstanding’ (at http://www.treasurydirect.gov/govt/reports/ir/ir_expense.htm), this is set for 2014 (up to October) to be almost $355 billion dollars. This is just the interest. At Bloomberg we see “The government will reduce net sales by $250 billion from the $1.2 trillion of bills, notes and bonds issued in fiscal 2012 ended Sept. 30“, this is clearly incomplete, as there is not mention of WHEN these bonds mature, but the overall sell of bonds will hit the US at some point. If we consider the CNS headline “$2,472,542,000,000: Record Taxation Through August; Deficit Still $755B“, so taxes are coming in, they are not enough as the deficit is around 30%, now consider that the due interest is going to be 15%-20% (because two months are currently not known) of all collected taxation. When the bonds are due, how much larger will the debt become?
I have mentioned it many times, but now as we see the reaction of fear as Argentina defaults, we cannot continue without seeing the threat and fear of Japan from defaulting, which will clearly push the US over the edge of that abyss too.

Here is where the issue becomes the dangers we fear. We seem to always mention that those who talk the talk should be walking the walk too. This has not been done by large by many, so now we talk the walk but no one is really accountable, making for a massively dangerous situation. If you even consider thinking that there is no danger here, try calling a Syrian hospital by telephone and ask them how they are doing. It might open your eyes really quick.

If we are to walk the walk then Argentina will default and we have a new situation, yet the unnamed danger is that ‘some’ deal will find its way, which is great for the Argentinian people, yet it also impacts the cost of doing business for all the other players. Have you consider the costs that this will bring everyone else?

 

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Start making sense

I have been tossing and turning for most of the night. Something has been bothering me all day, and as it seems most of the night. You see, the Dutch NOS reported on Saturday 9th of March an interesting footnote in their newscast. They suddenly had this short part on the news on how this is possible. (Source: NOS http://nos.nl/artikel/482586-record-op-record-voor-dow-jones.html)

This is interesting, as I asked pretty much the same questions in an earlier blog called “It hurts every time, but we love it”, which I published on Feb 6th, so slightly more than a month earlier. The Dow index is currently at 14,397 (which was a 2007 record). The issue is that we had the crash of 2008; one in six in the US lost their house. So, the economy is not in a good place. There was also the mention in their radio cast (English and Dutch). They seemed to focus on two parts. First was the fact that Economic recovery is gotten through revenue recovery without staffing (so 5 do the work of 10, and they are happy to have a job). Second is that the Dow is based on only 30 companies. Yet, when we look at the number I wonder what game is being played as I look at a 2 year index graph. This graph is Stellar. My issue is twofold. One I am NOT an economist, but a data miner. Second is that the given ‘excuse’ feels wrong. Especially given that the news had this production line backdrop of cars, and none of the 30 seems to be in the car industry. So why not present this with a pharmaceutical backdrop?

So let us take a look at some of these Dow Jones Index companies.

1. Bank of America. A bank, and after 2008, we could wonder in what state it is in. This quote comes from Forbes and was written by Halah Touryalai, one of the Forbes Writers “No bank knows that better than Bank of America which has agreed to pay a jaw-dropping $42 billion, settling credit and mortgage-related legal battles in just the last three years“.

OK, if we take that into consideration, then seems a little weird that their stock graph has the same shape as that of the DOW. (As one of the 30, it would make sense that the graphs are shaped similar, however, such confidence after such a legal fee settlement bill?)

2. JP Morgan Chase. Another Bank! It had two more dips then BofA, yet overall it is in an upwards movement as well. It was also mentioned in the same Forbes article as before on settlement fees, but those fees were a lot lower. The Bank of America had to chew on 66% of the total settlement fees by itself, so for the other 5 big banks, the damage was relatively small in that regard. However, In April and May 2012 they had lost more than six billion dollars on derivative trades that had gone bad. There was a report of 9 billion in total, which also involved Bruno Iksil for part of the mentioned amount, he is also known as ‘the London Whale’. The numbers and the names vary when we look at UK and US papers, but overall they pretty much tell the same story. It is interesting that JP seemed to bounce back within 6 months to stock values higher than before the June 4th 2012 dip. Last on my list is Boeing. It is a giant, but we have all heard of the 787 issues and it’s now named ‘Nightmare liner’. The issue is all about batteries, yet the news from January as reported by Reuters : The new production forecast raised some eyebrows. Russell Solomon at Moody’s Investors Service was forecasting 100 787 deliveries and said Boeing’s forecast of more than 60 was “significantly weaker than we had expected.” Interesting that what analysts expect and what the vibe says Boeing will be delivering is off by almost 40%. Suddenly NOT meeting expectations has almost no impact? 40% less on a firm the size of Boeing should have a very visible effect (imho).

Now the DJI is about 27 other companies and there are only two banks in it. It is also a fact that these banks work with securities and values in the hundreds of billions, so are my concerns just a storm in a teacup?

It is a valid question, and I also ask myself this question. Let us take a look at the two following thoughts.

1. US debt. It is set at 16.6 TRILLION dollars. The total US debt is a lot higher. That one is $59.1 TRILLION.
Can anyone even imagine those numbers? Now consider that someone has that kind of money. To be honest is that really true? Is there a group of nations with that level of wealth? the only nation capable of owning that much is one with an abundance of oil, so basically the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is the only one that wealthy. Either the US is labelled UAE-west, or my thoughts are not that correct in this instance. So perhaps I am wrong (I will be the first one to admit that).
We know that most value trades are now done digital. It is the only way for the market to move such amounts of wealth. However, who checks this?

I have seen my share of digital forms of miscommunication by loads of people in several fields. Often they seem connected to the corporate headquarters of Bloated, Botched, Bungled and Baboon. An always newly formed enterprise, coming to a local public stock market near you. Consider that this is done on the electronic super highway. Now consider that Hackers come at a dozen a dime and greed is eternal, these last two are given facts. Also realise that ANY system can be gotten at. DARPA and the NSA proved that more than once.

The valid question loudly remains: “Who truly checks the validity of trade and the numbers they are traded at?”

2. LIBOR scandal. I wrote about it, the news has talked about it in abundance. Last week in an article by Mark Scott in the NY Times on March 5th the following was stated “The review published by the Financial Services Authority, the country’s regulator, said there had not been a major failure of oversight by local authorities, but it added that officials had become too focused on containing the financial crisis to analyse information connected with the potential rate-rigging

This is a fair enough statement (it did seem shallow in relation to the handed fines), and them be hefty fines, so why are these two events related? Well, in my mind there are two parts of the LIBOR that were in play. From my point of view there are two variables that might be played with. The first one we know. It is the interest rate; the second one is the bigger issue. You see, those percentages are linked to a total sum of $350 trillion in UK registered derivatives. That is 20 times the US national debt. If people play with one, there is every reason to suspect that they might have played with the other. So again, who controls those totals that are being traded in? If derivatives include hedge funds, swaps and forward rate agreements then we should be worried. Consider as well that the US Bank for International Settlements holds almost twice the value the UK seems to be registering.

So, we are now confronted with just in excess of 1000 TRILLION dollars. How can this even be monitored? Now let us add one more part. The US LIBOR rate is set by 18 banks. The two banks in the DJI are members. Are we all on the same page now? The third bank (Citi) is to be given a fine in regards to percentage ‘tweaking’. According to Reuters, later this year, a new set of settlements will be ‘delivered’. In their publication of March 8th by Kirstin Ridley and Philipp Halstrick it states that: “Deutsche, Citi and JPM are the banks named in regulatory circles as those candidates near the next settlements,” said the second source. So now we have both a DJI member and libor member in this illustrious ‘donation’ scheme. What else is at play?

What if the total value is not correct? What if they did not just play with the percentages, but the total package of the trade able amount? Let’s just take a fictive 5%. Mainly because I feel not so comfortable with the value they say they have and in part because I cannot even comprehend that much, as we get above the $200 trillion range. So, if 5% is taken off the total amount of over $1000 Trillion, would mean that we might all be devaluated by a total of 50 trillion dollars. That comes down to $8400 for every citizen on the planet. Did we sign up for that invoice?

It might be just be me (and I can happily live with that notion), but can bankers and financial corporations be allowed to continue on this track? We have seen clear evidence that those places cannot be trusted with even a small speckle of such amounts. Even though they NEVER broke any laws initially, LIBOR shows that some are very willing to do that. With the US on the edge of bankruptcy (or on the wrong side of a fiscal abyss), with the financial industry in such disarray, what can be done?

So when this all falls over (not if it falls over), what will we be left with?

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