Tag Archives: Mossack Fonseca

Losing business in America

The Washington Post had an interesting article during the weekend. The article (at https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/supreme-court-case-centers-on-law-enforcement-access-to-data-held-overseas/2018/02/25/756f7ce8-1a2f-11e8-b2d9-08e748f892c0_story.html) gives us ‘Supreme Court to hear Microsoft case: A question of law and borders‘ where the issue debated is: “At issue is whether a U.S. company must comply with a court order to turn over emails, even if they are held abroad — in this case in a Dublin server. The litigation turns on a 1986 law, the Stored Communications Act, passed long before email became a ubiquitous way to communicate and before American firms began storing massive amounts of data outside U.S. borders“, in this case it goes even further then the lawmakers or lawyers have considered. Apart from the fact that the server is physically in Dublin and a case would be required to be made in Strasbourg, there is one additional need (beyond the stringent privacy laws in Europe). Microsoft is phrasing it that in opposition, “an adverse ruling would leave the government “no basis to object” when other countries demand Americans’ emails stored inside the United States, that it would “trammel” other nations’ sovereignty and erode trust in a way that poses “an existential threat” to the $250 billion cloud-computing industry“, this leads us to the Cloud Act, as we get the quote (in this case from WCCFTech) “Congress is currently considering to make it easier for the law enforcement to access international data – one of the major headaches that the prosecutors currently face. Microsoft, Google and other tech companies who have had their fair share of issues with the government have long asked for a revamp of the legislation that demands companies to hand over data stored on a foreign land“, the question is not why it is needed, but on how the changing rule of privacy is impacting those outside of the US, more important, how it could turn against the US in the long term.

The danger is seen, not in Europe, but in Saudi Arabia where banking laws are actually extremely protective of the customers. Let me explain with the following information.

There are certain secular regulations passed by government, which although not dedicated as a whole to data privacy/protection, contain specific provisions governing the right to privacy and data protection in certain contexts. Examples of such regulations include:

  • the Basic Law of Governance (no: A/90 dated 27th Sha’ban 1412 H (corresponding to 1 March 1992)), which provides that telegraphic, postal, telephone and other means of communications shall be safeguarded. They cannot be confiscated, delayed, read or breached.
  • The Anti-Cyber Crime Law (8 Rabi 1, 1428 (corresponding to 26 March 2007)) (as amended), which generally prohibits, amongst other things, the interception of data transmitted through an information network, the invasion of privacy through the misuse of camera-equipped mobile phones and the like, illegally accessing bank or credit data of another, unlawful access to computers for the purpose of deleting, destroying, altering or redistributing private data, or the production, preparation, transmission or storage of material impinging on public order, religious values, public morals, and privacy, through an information network or computers;
  • The Telecoms Act (approved pursuant to the Royal Decree No. (M/12) dated 12/03/1422H (corresponding to 3 June 2001), which states that the privacy and confidentiality of telephone calls and information transmitted or received through public telecommunications networks shall be maintained, and disclosure, listening or recording the same is generally prohibited

The Regulations for the Protection of Confidential Commercial Information (issued by Minister of Commerce and Industry Decision No. (3218) dated 25/03/1426H (corresponding to 4 May 2005), and as amended), which governs the protection of data considered to be “commercial secrets” under these regulations.
(Source: DLA Piper, at https://www.dlapiperdataprotection.com/index.html?t=law&c=SA)

So if we see Saudi Arabia push for equally protection in regards to digital privacy and digital personal data, there would soon be a jump by many people to get a futuristic @gmail.sa account.

So now we see the US pushing and they could lose out twice, first the fact that others will demand US data in the same trend for their own criminal legislation reasons (which should make the Wall Street boys nice and nervous. the second is that those who they are trying to prosecute will take their business to Saudi Arabia and protective minded nations. With Saudi Arabia looking at billions of investments coming from the Tech sector, giving in to big business like Apple, Google and Microsoft would be a small step to get the infusion of massive cash drops, infrastructure and evolution of their technological infrastructure. That alone could push the ‘Vision 2030’ plan that has been the shiny jewel for Saudi Arabia as envisioned by Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman Al Saud ahead by several years.

Yet when we see the WCCFTech, we also see the dangerous finale. With “Tech companies have continued to hint for a legislative reform that could help them deliver data on criminals when a warrant is served but the data is stored outside of the country. What these companies feel about the Cloud Act, however, remains unclear“, we see the crucible. This test is not set in law, but in interpretation. With ‘deliver data on criminals when a warrant is served‘, you see, a person is innocent until proven guilty, so as such the warrant becomes useless if there is no conviction. Now, I feel certain that the Cloud Act will take such matters into account, but in the clarity of the Act, it is an American Act and as such, even when we get “Thomas Bossert, assistant to the president for homeland security and counterterrorism and Paddy McGuinness, deputy national security adviser for Britain wrote. “The first one would be with Britain, which already has the authority to enter into such a pact.”” I am personally not convinced of that. The entire mess of the Safe Harbour or Safe Harbour 2.0 and/or the EU-US Privacy Shield, when we see privacy, yet in some places we see “for commercial purposes”, which is causing more confusion than give clarity, the fact that a lot is not done in the open and merely between the US and big business is making plenty of people worried. So when we see “2,400 companies – including Facebook, Microsoft, Google and Alphabet Inc.” whilst we see “Facebook’s default privacy settings and use of personal data are against German consumer law, according to a judgement handed down by a Berlin regional court”, whilst at the same time we see that Facebook list a case in the Belgian courts too. So the entire setting as we are given the view by Reuters “EU justice commissioner Vera Jourova, who presented the first annual report on the agreement, the Shield is “working well”“, whilst at the same time we see that one of the three largest players in the data industry is handed their marching papers all over Europe is a much larger cause for concern and Saudi Arabia is gaining an unique position to cash in on that setting, and they are not alone, in that same view China could make equal protective leaps, enticing business and data away from the US.

In this regard, when we look back at the Washington Post where we see: “With congressional action unclear, the stakes are high for U.S. v. Microsoft, such that more than 30 friend-of-the-court briefs have been filed by the European Union, members of Congress, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, tech firms, privacy advocates, and former law enforcement and national security officials, among others”, the issue is not merely what is in play, but with the changes towards G5 all bets are off because it is not merely more data and faster data, there will be a new dimension of machine learning and automation within the apps themselves and as such the issue on legislation on personal data and application data becomes a new and different fields of consideration. Now, this has no bearing on national borders yet, but when the value of application data grows (and it will soon enough on a near exponential scale), we will see these fields come into the view of consideration and debate.

The Saudi opportunity is seen in a much better light when we consider “E. Joshua Rosenkranz, who will argue Microsoft’s case, called the government’s position “a recipe for global chaos.” He added: “If ever there were a step that is sure to stoke international tension, it is sidestepping the treaties that were negotiated by countries precisely to protect their sovereignty, and instead unilaterally obtaining reams of personal letters”, so as we see that side in regards to the ‘sovereignty’ of accounts, we also see that if Mossack Fonseca pushes their boundaries and if they get their infrastructure and security up to scrap, they could open up new doors to alternative and additional revenues, because those who have the cash to secure their privacy will pay through the nose for it. So it will no longer merely be about tax avoidance, it will become about identity avoidance, repudiation avoidance and their cyber persona, all up for Encrypted Cyber Outsourcing. If your value in cyberspace is set to a value, being the one surfing with an economic value of $0 will be the most anonymous one and there are plenty of people who prefer to be that, out of sight of the Skip Tracers, the investigators and the media at large, in the cyber age, anonymity is becoming more and more important, especially to those who embrace anonymity.

The Washington Post gives a few alternative views and all very valid, yet in all this there is not merely the ‘criminal’ data as it is seen, it is the setting of data privacy within the persons national sovereignty set against the US, or any other nation that requests your data for whatever reason they give. We see this in the US case Blackwell, 2004, where we get “Illegally obtained evidence applies to criminal cases only and is typically “evidence acquired by violating a person’s constitutional protection against illegal searches and seizures; evidence obtained without a warrant or probable cause”“, that setting could stretch, especially when data obtained from another country is set against additional privacy laws and in addition, the proof required to set ‘or probable cause’ which might be another bump in the setting of borderlines, whether they are merely digital or physical. The law was never ready for Clouds and Cyberspace. This is seen in the unjust setting of ‘the law does not apply in Cyberspace‘, which is not true (proven on several settings), as the “conflicting laws from different jurisdictions would apply, and even as that happens for any person simultaneously, to some extent, to the same event. The Internet might not make geographical and jurisdictional boundaries clear, but Internet users remain in physical jurisdictions“. There is an agreement there, but as most systems as well as the lack of non-repudiation has been in play from even before I got my University IT degree, and since then too little changed, the failure to prove that the ‘internet user‘ is THAT ‘internet user‘ the law keeps on falling over and as that is paramount in setting the need of the warrant, the warrant should in the end go nowhere, which is exactly what the alleged criminal hopes for and legislation has remained behind the curve by a lot, optionally helping them out evading conviction.

So as we see these settings, we see that the U.S. v. Microsoft could in the end cost the US a lot more than they themselves bargained for, because that is in the end the nature of the beast of commerce, it goes where business and profit resides.

 

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Lawyers on a weakly basis

It is the Lawyers Weekly that gets the attention at present. The article (at https://www.lawyersweekly.com.au/biglaw/22159-lawyers-don-t-need-to-become-accomplices-to-white-collar-crime) gives us the nice title with ‘Lawyers ‘don’t need to become accomplices’ to white-collar crime‘, yet is that statement anywhere near the truth or the applicable situation that many face in today’s industry? Monty Raphael QC talks the talk and does so very nicely as the experienced QC he is, yet there were a few points in all this that are an issue to me and it should be an issue to a much larger community. For me it starts with the quote ““Cyber space has not created any new crimes, as such, really, of any significance,” Mr Raphael said.” This is of course a correct statement, because until the laws are adjusted, plenty of issues are not covered as crimes. We merely need to look at the defence cloak that ‘facilitation’ gives to see that plenty is not covered. The case D Tamiz v Google Inc is merely one example and as technology renews and evolves, more and newer issues will rise, not merely in cases of defamation breaking on the defence of mere facilitation.

Yet for this matter, what is more a visible situation is the case of Tesco a how PwC seems to not be under the scrutiny it should be, it should have been so from day 1. So when we read: “Mr Raphael insisted that lawyers have an ethical obligation to ensure they do not support or enable white-collar crime” we are introduced to a statement that is for the most seemingly empty. I state it in this way, because the options of scaling the legal walls while not breaking any of the laws that were bended to the will of the needy is an increasingly more challenging task. If the legal walls were better than PwC would clearly be in the dock 2 years ago, or would they? In addition, they are not alone, merely slightly (read: loads) more visible as the profit before tax for Tesco ended up being minus 6.3 billion in 2015.

Monty makes a good case, yet the underlying issue is not the lawyer, it for the most never was. It is the law itself. This is why I object to the title, it is nice but is it true? PwC shows that even as we oppose their actions, the fact that they are not in the dock is because when we see Reuters (at https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-britain-tesco-fraud/former-tesco-executives-pressured-staff-to-cook-books-court-told-idUKKCN1C41TK) we see “Tesco’s auditors PwC were “misled and lied to,” Wass added“. Is this true? Let’s consider the evidence, can it be shown and proven that they were lied to?

It might never be proven because the people in the dock have had years to get their story right (read: synchronised). What I stated at the very beginning of the events of Tesco remains true and it remains the issue. The fact is that PwC made that year £13 million from this one customer. Much of it in a project and auditors for the rest and they did not spot the fact that the books were ‘cooked’, will remain an issue with me for some time to come. It is the Tesco case that also underlies the issue here. It is about the weak lawyer, not because he is weak, but the lack of proper laws protecting all victims of white collar entrepreneurs is stopping them from aiding potential victims. In addition as the law is struggling to merely remain four passes behind it all, it becomes less and less useful, not to mention a lot less effective. As the next generation of economic tools are being rolled out (block chain being a first), we will see new iteration of issues for the law, for both the CPS and DPP as it cannot progress forward in light of the legal parties not comprehending the technology in front of them, so showing wrongdoing will become an increasingly hard task for lawyer to work with. The biggest issue is that as it is all virtual, the issue of non-repudiation goes out of the window. Not only will it become close to impossible to work with the premise of ‘beyond all reasonable doubt‘, there is the fact that ‘proof on a balance of probabilities‘ is becoming equally a stretch. The fact of non-repudiation is only one of several factors. So as we have seen that successful criminals tend to hide on the edge of technology, the chance to stop them is becoming increasingly less likely.

This now gets us to the statement “In the wake of the Panama Papers revelation from law firm Mossack Fonseca, Mr Raphael cautioned that clients’ criminal activities can come back to haunt their law firms“, the fact that both former prime ministers involved in the Panama paper scandals, Bjarni Benediktsson and Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson, have been re-elected to the Icelandic parliament (Source: IceNews), so it seems that the Panama papers are a little less of a haunt. In addition there will be a long debate of what constitutes the difference between Tax Avoidance and Tax Evasion, because only one of those two is illegal. In addition certain questions on how 2.6TB was leaked and no alarms went off is also an issue, because the time required to get a hold of such a large amount of documents would take a monumental amount of time and with every option to shorten the path, alarms should have been ringing. When we consider the basic IT issues, we get partial answers but not the answers that clearly address the issues, as they did not. The time it had required to do all this should have placed it on the IT radar and that never happened. So as we see on how patches and security risks are now being pushed for as a reason, we need to wonder if Mossack Fonseca could have been the wealthy party it claimed to have been. When we consider the expression ‘a fool and his money are soon parted‘ the lowest level of IT transgressions that have been seemingly overlooked gives rise to a total lack of Common Cyber Sense, staff that should have been regarded as incompetent and an infrastructure that was lacking to a much larger degree. You see, even before we get to the topic of  ‘illegally obtained data‘ which was used for investigations that have convicted people of crimes, the larger issue that could be in play  on the foundation of that data alone, a few prison sentences could be regarded as invalid, or might get overturned soon enough. There were cases where the story gives clear indications of what was done and here we see the consideration of what is admissible evidence. In this, the one step back is the IT part. The hardware would have regarded as little as $100K to upgrade to better security standards and hiring a better level of University Student in his or her final year might have given a much safer IT environment, perhaps even at half the current cost.

All issues worthy of debate, yet none of it hitting the lawyers; it more hits the infrastructure of it all. Yet these two issues that might now be seen as real hindrances for lawyers, in a place of laws that are now seemingly too weak, the law, not the lawyer. So as we recollect the Toronto Star in January 2017 where we see “Canada is a good place to create tax planning structures to minimize taxes like interest, dividends, capital gains, retirement income and rental income,” when we see the added “the Canadian government has made it easier than ever for criminals and tax cheats to move money in and out by signing tax agreements with 115 countries” we see growing evidence that the law is getting hindered by eager politicians making their mark for large corporations through the signing of tax agreements, and what they think would be long term benefits for their economy, whilst in actuality the opposite becomes the case. So every clever Tom, Dick and Mossack Fonseca can set up valid and legal shapes of international corporations all paying slightly less than a farthing for all their taxations. Legal paths, enabled by politicians and as the laws are not adjusted we can all idly stand by how nothing illegal is going on. So as we admire the weakly lawyers, we get to realise that the law and the politicians adjusting it weakened their impact.

In all this at no point would the Lawyer have been an accomplice. The data lies with IT, the setting of these off shore accounts were largely valid and legally sound and in that, there could always be a bad apple, yet that does not make the Lawyer an accomplice. That brings us to the final part which we see with “Money laundering has been in the spotlight recently, with the Commonwealth Bank facing punishment for failing to report suspicious deposits in its ATMs“. It needs to be seen against “Mr Raphael insisted that lawyers have an ethical obligation to ensure they do not support or enable white-collar crime” in this the banks are already faltering. We seek the dark light events of PwC and Mossack Fonseca, yet the basics are already getting ignored. I believe that the article is missing a part, I feel certain that it has at least been on the mind of my jurisprudential peer. You see, the legal councils will need to evolve. Not only will they need to do what they are already doing, the path where they (or more likely their interns) start to teach IT and other divisions a legal introduction on what is white collar crimes. The fact on how ‘suspicious deposits‘ could be a white collar crime is becoming more and more visible. I see that the education of IP legality in IT is now growing and growing. The intertwining can no longer be avoided. Now, we can agree that an IT person does not need a law degree, but the essential need to comprehend certain parts, in the growing mountains of data is more and more a given.

In all this there is one clear part that I oppose with Mr Raphael, it is the statement ‘There’s nothing cultural about greed‘, you see, as I personally see it that is no longer true, the corporate culture that is globally embraced made it so!

 

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On the bridge of slavery

We have seen several steps coming, it has been in the air for a long time, yet, this is the first time where we see a clear step where we are clearly shown that the people no longer have a voice, we are no more than a collection of items in a long reign of collateral damage to MP’s and greed driven entities. The guardian gives us “MPs to push for further measures to increase parliamentary scrutiny of the Brexit process” (at https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/jan/25/theresa-may-agrees-to-publish-brexit-white-paper). This is the show of a group of toddlers who do not want their gravy train to end and they will give any excuse with assistance from the media to prolong their train and maximise their earnings. We see this in “which MPs now want to see before they are asked to pass legislation to trigger article 50“, there was a referendum and the people wanted to get out. Now we see MP’s scurrying to delay and to even stop that what the people wanted.

And the evidence is actually getting stronger on an international level. My issues is that the only one taking this to visibility is Richard Desmond’s the Daily Express and if I have no trust in the publishing ramblings of Rupert Murdoch, I am very much in favour of giving none to Richard Desmond either. Yet, seeking through the article for any name that gives any solid ground for other sources and I got it in Reuters. You see, we now have an almost Mexican standoff, meaning that we can ask President Trump to get into action. The issue is that Mario Draghi gives the quote “Any country leaving euro zone must settle bill first: ECB’s Draghi“, which makes me wonder whether this court jester of idiocy is making the statement as he has been racking up trillions of Euro’s in debt by instigating through flooding the market with funds, that in actuality has had no impact on the economy whatsoever. There is no one to clip the wings of this irresponsible person, those people are all too happy to get the juicy support that their future needs. That is how I see it and lets support that with the following parts that Reuters had in the form of a piece by Francesco Canepa (at http://www.reuters.com/article/us-ecb-eurozone-idUSKBN1542KL).

When we look at the debts, we see the quote “As these payments are not generally settled, weaker economies including Italy, Spain and Greece have accumulated huge liabilities towards Target 2 while Germany stands out as the biggest creditor with net claims of 754.1 billion euros“, so as Mario Draghi keeps on going like a spending jester with a credit card that isn’t his in the first place, we would see that these nations do have debts yet local parliaments never agreed on the spending spree to this extent. So when we get the quote “In a rare admission about the strength of feeling building up against Brussels the Italian pen-pusher Mario Draghi, president of the European Central Bank (ECB), said countries leaving the euro will face huge financial consequences“, we also need to take into mind who got the debt there. So when we see the threat from Mario Draghi, we should consider my article of June 30th 2014. A little over 2.5 years ago. (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2014/06/30/exit-strategies-anyone/), here I wrote “So, the dangers of additional debts from Europe would cripple the UK as well. This is as I see it part of the reason why the UKIP got such a huge success“, now we see that not only was it true, we now see Jester Draghi use it to keep France and Italy under his yoke, he is hereby hoping that the soft UK MP’s will give in, keeping the European Barge named ‘Irresponsible Spending‘ afloat. So, not only was I right, there is an additional issue that I initially proclaimed that the American Economy would drown the European one. I still believe that this is true, yet there is in equal measure now the chance that the ECB could with their irresponsible acts collapse the American one. Because when we see that three nations are shouting stronger and stronger that they want out is also a clear signal that the ECB has been, as I feared for a long time, stacking up debts to make the exit no longer possible. So in that, there is now an added need that Mario Draghi is to be halted spending ANY money at all. If he is forcing a ‘stay in until all debts are paid‘ he is also stating that he should not be allowed to spend any money that has not gone in, basically the ECB would have to go into a trillion plus euro debt and see it as an investment, which with the view of the three largest players wanting out, that step is a bad investment. So will Mario Draghi pull out, or will he hope on non-acting MP’s in several nations who are too fearful of change? Safe money is on the second one, but that in equal measure indicates that those hit by such extremes will seek more and more extreme political sides and soon thereafter, UKIP would be seen as the liberal view which holds the balanced centre of politics. How scary is that?

And we aren’t even close to the centre of blackmail. The view two weeks ago was “Intermediate Capital Group (ICG) will suspend further investment in France if National Front leader Marine Le Pen becomes president in this year’s elections“, which is fun as the scores of Financial advisors in London are looking for new eager shores that they can exploit. Even when we see the news, we see more and more ‘relabeling’ of what is, into what speculators want it to look like. When we see the title ‘Eurozone: Towards a stabilization of growth – Natixis‘, we see something positive, yet the quote “Jesus Castillo, Research Analyst at Natixis, notes that the Eurozone composite PMI remained almost stable on January 2017 at 54.3 and from the manufacturing sector side, it seems that once again Germany has driven the Eurozone expansion“, which seems nice, but from my point of view with the quotes “it means -0.1 point compared to December. The manufacturing PMI rose to 55.1 from 54.9 whereas the services sector survey has registered a small decrease by -0.1 point to 53.1” as well as “From the manufacturing sector side, it seems that once again Germany has driven the Eurozone expansion. The manufacturing index increased by 0.9 point from 55.6 to 56.5 whereas it declined in France (from 53.5 to 53.4) in January“, which means that in the Eurozone, only one nation is getting anywhere and the other 18 aren’t pulling their weight and not getting things done. Harsh, but true. It is in this collection of false relabeling scores, where we see ICG blackmail France, scores of banks blackmail the UK (question: should I use the word ‘blackmail’ or is ‘Psychic Assault’ a better word?), because that is basically what it is and the fact that these players are not named and shamed is an issue for me.

In this 10 days ago, we had the fact that the ECB is also making its choice of ignoring other voices “The European Central Bank will hold to its course at its first meeting of 2017 Thursday, analysts said, resisting clamour to tighten monetary policy from critics pointing to increasing inflation. Since December’s meeting of the ECB’s Governing Council, when it extended mass bond-buying from March to December 2017, price increases in the 19-nation single currency area have picked up. The increase to 1.1 percent from 0.6 average inflation across the Eurozone in December still leaves the indicator well short of the ECB’s target of just below 2.0“, meaning that the ECB is playing an increasing dangerous game whilst loading this debt onto a group of nations with already maximised credit cards. The fact that only Germany got any decent result is also an indication that the ECB is setting a premise that increases the overall European debt by 2 billion a day and nothing to show for it. We can accept and we need to take into consideration that some of these events are long term actions, yet in equal measure it didn’t work the first time, so the second time making it lasts longer is equally a bad idea, which is why he earned the Jester hat.

This reflects back to the EC, because as we see more and more push against Brexit, which some parties are hoping that it will in equal measure diminish the dangers of Frexit. Even as the BBC (at http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-38753808) gives us that ‘Brexit: Article 50 legislation to be published‘, we see in equal measure “But it is expected to face amendments from MPs and peers, while others have said they will oppose it outright“, giving the people a new fear, the fear that the freedom they had on the referendum was fake, a virtual war where the will of the people was never real. We can accept that the “Supreme Court on Tuesday, when judges ruled that Parliament must give permission to start the Brexit process“, which is acceptable, yet in equal measure we now face that in all this, as the EC began this path was never properly set, the lawmakers deceived and betrayed the people of the sovereign nation of the United Kingdom. Even as we know that article 50 is merely the informing part that the UK is leaving the EU, the Supreme Court stopped this from ‘just’ happening, and in that I have no issue, the Commonwealth has always been directed by law (as stated earlier). It does become an issue to me when I see “face amendments from MPs and peers“, the question becomes, what amendments? The people want out and this group of people is growing fast, all over Europe. The bickering, blackmail and phony posturing by those not even properly paying their share of taxation has been a blight in the eyes of the tax paying people. So as we look at John McFarlane and his spearfishing, or is that spearheading a fishing campaign? Anyway, the AFR is reporting on John trying to keep the banks where they are. I am still decently certain that as Frexit is becoming more and more a certainty, those not remaining in London, or those vastly relocating staff, will within 24 months see a sway where they have to explain to the shareholders a massive loss, due to relocations, loss of staff and loss of opportunity and revenue, due to a loss of staff, whilst in equal measure needing to show massive expenditure in France and Germany whilst the revenue never got close to the change. More important, the anger of people with every delay on Article 50 is also prompting other nations to truly spearhead a move out of the EC. So as we consider (at http://www.afr.com/news/world/europe/stay-put-for-brexit-deal-banks-urged-20170122-gtwblk) the quote “Bankers have moved from talking about a “transitional” period, instead labelling it an “implementation” or “stability” period, mirroring the language and rhetoric being used by the British government“, this whilst no one is asking how come that London was the financial centre for Europe before the Euro existed, before we got this open borders stuff. The British centre of commerce was well established, so in all this, why would it have been lost in the first place and for those moving consider that a one market place might see best, but we have shown again and again that it only profits the large corporations and there is too much showing that the next 10 years will not be in hands of large corporations, it will be the smaller ones that will actually start economies and set changes. Those people still see London as the centre of their universe (whether reasonable or not). In that article there is one part that remains cause for concern You see there is truth in “Jes Staley, the chief executive of Barclays, said he did not think that Britain or the EU would use Brexit as an excuse to roll back the global financial framework that has been implemented since the financial crisis“, yet we know better and what Jes is stating is not true. The truth is that, as Reuters gave us in September 2016 (at http://www.reuters.com/article/us-basel-banks-eu-idUSKCN11W1PA), that the banks are very much in favour of rolling it back to some degree. As we see “The European Union may opt out of new global rules aimed at preventing another financial crash because officials are worried they put European banks at a disadvantage at a time when they are losing market share to U.S. rivals“, even at that point, a mere 4 months after Mossack Fonseca, more and more shifts were seen. There is more than one indication that after Mossack Fonseca got out into the open, many had to vacate places and move and interestingly enough, according to Andrew Penney, Rothschild & Co, the U.S. “is effectively the biggest tax haven in the world”, this is also how we learn that private wealth is doing just fine, it merely got as new letterhead from either (or both) an accountancy firm and a law firm.

How do these elements connect? What does wealth management have to do with slavery?

These are important questions and you need to ask them! You see, the freedom of choice, to leave the EU has been undermined for some time now. I understand that it was a close call, yet the Bremainers lost, and just like American Democrats, they are very sore losers, because they aren’t getting their way. In addition, those who have no vote and also require the Bremainers to win are large corporations who require every part of an inch of margin to keep their profits as high as possible, because their bonuses depend on it. That part is no longer an option as these people need to be held tax accountable, as well as these corporations require them to pay their fair share of taxation. With the EU behind us, UK laws can finally be adapted for this to happen. We see all the flim-flam presentations, bullying and blackmail on how they walk away. Yet we can clearly see that the UK was merely the first one. And some margin from 68 million consumers is better than losing 68 million consumers, which is what the UK is steering towards. The untold part is that all these noisemakers do realise that losing the UK and its customer population is really bad, so having some profit will always be better. So when we see the Guardian (at https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/jan/26/brexit-bill-mps-will-get-five-days-to-debate-article-50-plans), with Labour MP’s stating “to guarantee the protection of workers’ rights and securing “full tariff- and impediment-free access” to the EU’s single market“, gets the response ‘who are they kidding?‘, workers’ rights is one and that has existed in the UK long before the EC, in addition and the crunch is ‘tariff-free access‘, which is just to appease large corporations and that has been the problem these last 8 years to begin with. So who is Labour copulating to? (Oops: I meant facilitating for). In addition UK Labour wants as an amendment “to oblige the government to keep all existing EU tax avoidance and evasion measures“, which seems nice, but that could have been avoided if proper legislation had been pushed to come down hard on tax evaders. Yet Labour in all their terms did absolutely nothing to get that decently sorted, so screaming for it now seems a little redundant in my humble opinion.

As we watch from that bridge, we see twists and turns, whilst from the distance we see how financial institutes are enabled more and more, our freedoms fall away. The Financial times being the voice of Bankers on how the ECB is making its predictions. “The European Central Bank has stepped up its warning that it will be difficult for the UK to hang on to its valuable euro-clearing business after Brexit, calling for EU institutions to seek more, not less, oversight of the trade in London once Britain leaves the bloc“, (at https://www.ft.com/content/51a68c6e-e094-11e6-9645-c9357a75844a), which sounds nice and threatening, yet, do the people realise that when Brexit becomes a fact, Frexit will be around the corner and that also means the end of the ECB soon thereafter. So as we see the issues brought by Benoît Coeuré, we see in addition “we’ll have to know what are the new foundations, and whether this is good enough to ensure financial stability in the Eurozone,” he said. “Is that possible? I don’t know . . . It sounds challenging,” he said, adding that the issue “is not for the ECB to judge alone. The [European] Commission will have a say, governments will have a say.”“, this is fair enough, when the UK steps out, another European EC nation could end up clearing Euro derivatives, that is to say, where is that infrastructure in place? The article brings however an interesting side. With “Theresa May, Britain’s prime minister, indicated that financial services could be one of a number of areas where the UK would like to retain “elements of current single market arrangements.” But that idea of special sector-by-sector deals encountered an immediate pushback from other EU leaders, who are wary of British attempts to cherry-pick advantages of EU membership“, this view is not incorrect, yet in equal measure, what cherries would the Amsterdam, German and French markets like to pick? The point I am trying to make is not the issue by itself, which is fair enough, the issue is surrounding the people behind the curtains. People like Mario Draghi, Benoît Coeuré and the other four. When push comes to shove, I feel that they for the most have their own needs in mind, the public at large should have seen by now that the ECB has been pushing their own game, the rising debt is only one of the games played. The other one is actually shown in an interview with Romano Prodi (at http://www.italy24.ilsole24ore.com/art/politics/2017-01-16/intervista-prodi-132036.php?uuid=AEIWmr), there Prodi states: “The euro area’s economy is however recovering, although, according to European Central Bank President Mario Draghi, the main risks come from the field of politics” on one side we see that the ‘recovery‘ is misplaced as shown earlier is  at less than one percent and Germany is the only one achieving it in the end, that is not recovery. What Mario Draghi calls ‘the main risks come from the field of politics‘ sounds nice, but in the end, most politicians have an economic knowledge that is a mere joke (slightly less than my non-economic education), they get their advice from economic people most of them connected to banks, and they don’t want Brexit to happen. In addition, as shown earlier, the banks are starting to push back against Basel because of the US advantages, meaning that the banks are becoming larger risks again. Does anyone remember how these bankers ended up in prison in 2008? They did not! Their quality of life only increased to the larger degree whilst the rest of us saw a diminished quality of life that even today has not restored itself. So the view from the bridge is not that great, it shows on how we lost too much and in all this Bremaining could spell even more disaster before the end of the year. That last one is not a given, but we always knew that there would be hard times. Now we only need to worry on when that crash does happen, on how the ECB will blame everyone except for themselves and their utter reckless spending of trillions. The bridge of slavery has no view, yet unlike the Hussaini Hanging Bridge you do not get to die if you are ‘lucky’, you get to live through the agony of cleaning up the mess others made and they end up being protected and not held accountable.

 

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Matt Damon’s Quote

You could wonder what Matt Damon has been up to, there will always be reason to do this, not because he is an exceptional actor, even a celebrity on Mars. No, the reason here is his connection to documentaries. He was the narrator on ‘Inside Job‘, which got a well-deserved Oscar in 2011. I personally feel that this is the best documentary on the financial crises ever created. So let’s get started. Today, we see a number of news items reach the twilight of dawn.

The first one (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/nov/08/panama-papers-22-people-face-tax-evasion-investigations-in-uk), gives us ‘Panama Papers: 22 people face tax evasion investigations in UK‘, with the added text “Philip Hammond also said a further 43 wealthy individuals were under review while their links to the offshore files were investigated further. He made the comments in a written answer to the House of Commons explaining what had happened since the offshore tax files emerged“. Now we might go all huffy and puffy on these tax evaders, yet when you consider the news from August (at http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-08-31/ex-tesco-finance-chief-mcilwee-probe-closed-by-u-k-regulator), where we see “The U.K. accounting regulator closed an investigation into Tesco Plc’s former Chief Financial Officer, Laurie McIlwee, saying there wasn’t a “realistic prospect” that misconduct would be found in the case“, with the added “The Financial Reporting Council closed its case into McIlwee Wednesday, according to a statement from the regulator. It is still investigating the grocer’s auditor, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, and other individuals involved in Tesco’s accounts“.

This has been going on since 2014, they have not been able to find anything after two years and now you are going after ‘simple’ tax evaders?

My initial message (with all due respect) to the Chancellor of the Exchequer is “Mr Philip Hammond, are you out of your bloody mind?” You are still trying to get anything real on PwC, or were you ordered to let it die down?

When a company suddenly loses billions in value (also due to their own stupidity) and you cannot find anyone to prosecute and go to jail for overstating profits by £263 million ($345 million), whilst we also know that for that year PwC gave Tesco a 10 million pound invoice for auditing (annual) with an additional 3 million pounds for consultancy that year (Source: the Guardian). You cannot find anything and now you are going after people, where you cannot state whether they broke the law and you will rely on illegally obtained papers. How stupid is this?

How about you making the following change as per immediate!

a. Until the Tesco case has been satisfied, PwC and its senior employees cannot undersign any accountancy venue, or corporate balance for any UK corporation for 2016, 2017 and 2018 until the matter is solved.
b. In case wrongdoing by PwC employees is proven beyond reasonable doubt, PwC will not be allowed to operate within the UK.

How about them apples?

So far we have seen massive leeway by the press and the SFO has not achieved anything at all regarding Tesco. So it is time to adjust regulations and legal premises, until that point comes PwC will have to operate on non-British companies. Now, we can all understand that when we see the quote “McIlwee resigned as Tesco’s CFO in April 2014, prior to the discovery of the accounting errors, amid reports of disagreements with then-Chief Executive Officer Philip Clarke” seems to imply that McIlwee was not privy to, and not guilty of any wrongdoings, yet the fact that the SFO got nowhere in two years means that there is something massively wrong. When we know that so many millions were overstated, we seem to have a decently clear case of fraud, yet no one goes to jail. In addition, we also know that PwC was in on it (at least to some degree) and in addition, the subsequent Deloitte investigation showed more than initially was found means that there is no scenario where PwC can be absent from guilt in the first or second degree.

The SFO gave that Carl Rogberg, Christopher Bush and John Scouler were charged (source: BBC), they pleaded not guilty and at present the court dates are set for September 2017. It is my opinion that until all that is settled, the Chancellor of the Exchequer has no business whatsoever to dig into cases based on illegally obtained papers, whilst his branch as well as the SFO has no flipping ability at present to close a 2 year old case for at least another year (if ever). And as reported by the Times in September (at http://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/tesco-auditor-slips-back-into-retailers-aisles-0gm9xt8md) that “Tesco has appointed PwC as an independent adviser, despite replacing it as auditor with Deloitte“, which gives my emotional and slightly inappropriate response “Are you fucking kidding me?

So, whilst the PwC issues were kept very low key by nearly all the press, whilst there is no condemnation on a daily basis by the press and even less success by the SFO, we should agree that PwC has no business being in the UK to begin with, especially as “Last week the FRC cleared Laurie McIlwee, Tesco’s former chief financial officer, of wrongdoing over the scandal, but added that its investigation into PwC and other unnamed individuals continued“, we could go by once bitten twice shy, or we could go by the fact that as the SFO is either unable or unwilling to prosecute PwC, why would we even consider their presence? In case some are considering a specific rebuttal, to them I would respond with the April article (at https://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/apr/14/brexit-could-lead-to-loss-of-100000-financial-services-jobs-report-warns), where they stated ‘PwC report estimates 70,000-100,000 fewer jobs in 2020 compared with estimated number if Britain stays in EU‘, so let’s start with theirs and let smaller accountancy firms continue and allow for growth. In addition, when we accept the news by the BBC in Feb 2015 (at http://www.bbc.com/news/business-31147276), where we see “We believe that PricewaterhouseCoopers’s activities represent nothing short of the promotion of tax avoidance on an industrial scale,” said Margaret Hodge, chairwoman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC)“, so in that light, we could just send PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) packing, giving light that the facilitator of tax evasion have been dismissed from the country and as such the UK will see a decline in Tax evasion, no need for illegally held papers, no long and expensive investigation and the thorn in the UK economies side is equally removed. It will not mean that tax evasion is a thing of the past, but if PwC is send packing now, the other three might do a 180 degree on that clientele, which would at that point make the tax evasion issue moot, or at least deprive it from many options, which would amount to the same in the end.

So, you like apples?

If I am accused from persecuting PwC, then I would plead that I am not entirely innocent in that regard. I would bring the defence that the SFO has not gotten anywhere in 2 years and they are supposed to have the ability to find those culprits. Yet, as John Crace pointed out in the Guardian on April 5th that “Only last year, the public accounts committee reported that the accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) was promoting tax avoidance on an industrial scale. To make things worse, it was first in the frame to benefit from administering the windup of Tata’s steel operations in the UK. So where was David Cameron? At PwC’s offices in Birmingham. Some might call it a brave choice“, in that light, there is an additional reason to give PwC their walking papers.

In all this the exchequer has one final issue to deal with, you see, accountant at large, including (read: especially) those at PwC are really clever with what they do, meaning that there could be no broken laws to begin with, making the actions from certain parties from 2014 until 2018 even more questionable, with a strong need to truly scrutinise the rules that accountancy firms applied and how they were applied. As I see it, there is nothing worse than to paint a lovely target on a person only to learn that the laws fell short and none were ever broken. If you question that, then consider the following two options.

  1. The SFO has, as it embraced corruption onto a new level decided not to dig into PwC on the levels needed to secure evidence for the prosecution regarding Tesco.
  2. The SFO has found that even as it is clear that PwC assisted in these levels of Fraud and Misreporting, yet when the books and memos were investigated for these transgressions, there was more than a reasonable doubt that PwC was not fully aware, in addition, there are no papers filed by PwC to implicate them in any way in fraud or misrepresentation. As well as the established fact that no laws were broken at present.

When you look at the two options, which one is more likely than not the situation regarding PwC?

In my book, the fact that a person is not guilty, does not mean that they are innocent. I remain of mind that shutting PwC down in the UK is not the worst idea at present, yet is that point of view valid when we consider premise 2, which is actually the most likely scenario? When we consider that the spirit of the law has been violated by PricewaterhouseCoopers, at that point we still have the issue that no literal laws were broken. Here we could set forth that the government (read: parliament) created the foundations and the setting where industrialised tax evasion and fraud became legalised options. Even as we saw that there was a clear case for fraud, the law has been altered to the degree that the facilitators cannot be held accountable, as such, an issue was created and until that is resolved, and PwC cannot be prosecuted (which is wrong in many ways from the point of a simple taxpaying labourer).

So, we now have the issue of the letter of the law versus the spirit of the law, which should be seen as grammatical opposites, not just in grammar, it is that they are also opposites of the soul (read: soul of the law). When one obeys the letter of the law but not the spirit, one is obeying the literal interpretation of the words (the “letter”) of the law, but not necessarily the intent of those who wrote the law. Which is what black letter lawyers (and accountants) tend to do, because a nation of laws is about a nation with rules of playing the game. In our case, in Common Law, until a case is set as a precedent in law, there will be no adjustment and this can go on ‘ad infinitum’ and Intentionally following the letter of the law but not the spirit may be accomplished through exploiting technicalities, loopholes, and ambiguous language (at times a mere comma does the trick too).

Yet, when one obeys the spirit of the law but not the letter, one is doing what the authors of the law intended, though not necessarily adhering to the literal wording, which could get them automatically prosecuted if the District Attorney woke up on a Monday morning with a really foul mood.

So, whilst we might agree with Margaret Hodge, stating “We believe that PricewaterhouseCoopers’s activities represent nothing short of the promotion of tax avoidance on an industrial scale“, the fact that they are not breaking the law, implies that no corrections to the law have been made to correct for this. As such, you only have yourself to blame and admittance of this failure to the public at large is an essential second step. As I see it, making a lot of noise going after people who might have done something like this, whilst papers are absent and whilst all parties know that this is because of illegally obtained papers from the law firm Mossack Fonseca is even less intelligent, as the people behind this have leaked these papers for their own personal interest and ‘late taxation’ was not their goal, so to adhere to the promotion of such crimes is not the best way to get results.

Now that we see claims rising towards Tesco for misrepresentation from their investors for the amount of £100 million, which comes on top of the diminished value, so I feel that no matter what, there should be a negative impact on PwC one way or another, yet within the confines of the law of course. This takes us to ‘The letter versus the spirit of the law: A lay perspective on culpability‘ by Stephen M. Garcia, Patricia Chen and Matthew T. Gordon (paper here). The part that gives us the cakes are found in study 5 on page 486. “Study 5 sought to examine another instance in which the letter of the law is not broken but the spirit of the law may have been violated“, which is where I for the most stand with PwC in the Tesco matter as stated “We also wanted to control for various counter-explanations that underlie culpability such as violations of social and moral norms“, with references to Bicchieri & Chavez, 2010 as well as Mazar, Amir, & Ariely, 2008. Yet in the first there is Tonry, 2010, where he argues that “the foundations for disparity causing policy choices lie in the cultural and social forces that combined historically to shape U.S. society“, which is interesting as this implies that the policymaker and not PwC is the actual culprit and my rage was misguided. Yet, is that actually true? The spirit of the law is not equipped, or better stated should not be equipped to manage the input of self-interest, because the spirit of the will assume the setting for all people and as such will force the text and derail the letter of the law (as I see it). Tonry goes on into the racial destabilising side, yet in my view the racial part is not the real instance, I believe that the division is that we see two groups One is the (white) social enabled group who is set to the game with preparation (read: legal advice) to break the spirit of the law and not the letter of the law as long as self-interests are served. This setting will at that same time destabilise the (black) group, a group that is suffocating on the lack and lapse of social options and opportunities, where without proper and affordable advice the letter and the spirit of the law will be adhered to, yet at a massive cost through loss of opportunity. This now makes PwC a facilitator for the wealthy to avoid breaking the letter of the law and to optionally, when unavoidable adhere to the spirit of the law. From one point, can the facilitator be held to account? I believe so, yet the area is slightly too grey for my comfort. It is the policymaker that requires to shift the grey area, so that breaking the law is a more clear setting and as such the SFO could actually create a situation where conviction (let alone prosecution) becomes a reality.

I still believe that PwC has done great wrongs, yet as far as we can establish, not in the letter of the law. I find them guilty of knowingly set the stage for managed ‘breaking’ of the law. The spirit is as much a factor as the letter, either should be seen as breaking the law. Yet there is diminishment as the policymaker is seemingly also guilty, yet the reasoning for that flaw can never be easily determined, so we can tell it was wrong, yet to what degree is not a given, but an essential issue to address. When we look at the policymakers, we need to ascertain the application that the paper discusses. “This framework broaches a new language to understand complex situations such as those that are not technically illegal but seem wrong“, we can see that this applies to multiple incidents. In those cases it needs to be clear that these levels of protection do not make the cake edible. It makes for a sour venue where those with legal advice can abort too many payments whilst the underprivileged groups end up without support, protection and options. I am speculating here that this is the (read: speculated intentional) creation of the haves and have not, which is a policy drip down effect when you implement a prismatic system, which policymakers from business and sociological fields seemed to have resorted to as they (tried to) implement laws, on the premise of a non-legal mind. Which is what is pushing the issues. The political field needed the business view of opportunity and the resulting laws are toothless against larger corporations who end up getting a free pass here with PwC as the facilitating office.

In the end I am more correct than even I thought I was, yet this should not digress from handing out the penalties that are needed to give a clear signal that the party is over. We have learned the hard way from 2004 onwards that unless we make a massive shift, this will continue a few more decades, as such stronger language and harsher penalties are required, because continuing on this path is far too rewarding for all the players that can afford to play this game, which gave me the idea to give PwC their marching orders out of the UK. I don’t believe it is too harsh, especially as they made 35 billion last year alone. So the question to you becomes, do you have any idea how much taxation they paid? I have no idea how much exactly, but we do know that PwC was elemental in avoiding Lehman Brothers to pay an addition £1.2 billion in taxation, due to inconsistencies, we see the quote by Mr Justice Hildyard: “It is of real importance, both in terms of good governance and a fair market, that HMRC should make every effort to ensure that this sort of thing does not happen again“, (at http://www.theweek.co.uk/lehman-brothers/77510/lehman-brothers-creditors-to-avoid-12bn-tax-bill) giving rise that larger changes are needed to bring back fairness to all tax paying people, who have not seen a whole lot of fairness in that regard these last 12 years.

Judges will soon have to science the shit out of these tax laws, making them actually fair to all, not just large corporations, who seem to be judged on ‘the Principle of least accountability’.

 

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No Man’s Brexit

Yes, I am not kidding, the day after the release of No Man’s Sky, we will see the UK referendum regarding the UK leaving the EU. The two correlate in a simple way. The game has 18,446,744,073,709,551,616 planets. That same number seems to be the number of opinions that the 743 million Europeans seem to have regarding Brexit, so we need to take heed what to believe.

Personally, I feel that Brexit might be the way to go, yet as stated previously, Mark Carney, aka Governor of the British Bank, aka Marky Mark of the British Coin seems to be swaying me towards ‘Bremain’. Let me explain this. For the most, the reasoning is given here (at http://www.theguardian.com/politics/video/2016/may/15/mark-carney-defends-brexit-intervention-eu-bank-england-video). The important quote is “identify the issues, come straight with the British people about them and then take steps to mitigate them“. That is one thing this governor seems to have been doing from the beginning, to state it bluntly, that is what he gets paid for (nothing Personal Mr Governor)!

In opposition a case could possibly be made regarding ‘transparency’, but let’s not try to cut the bacon with a piece of string.

The issue in this case is a quote in the Guardian on that same page as the video, which was “Earlier in the programme, energy minister Andrea Leadsom accused Carney of ‘dangerous intervention’“. Let’s take a step back. The Minister of State at the Department of Energy and Climate Change, the person, who according to the Independent (at http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/energy-minister-andrea-leadsom-asked-whether-climate-change-was-real-when-she-started-the-job-a6710971.html) had to ask ‘whether climate change was real when she started the job‘ (which was on May 11th 2015), that person is questioning Governor Carney on being straight with the British people? That’s a barrel of laughs on the worst of Monday mornings imaginable. Oh, I stand corrected, the 11th of May 2015 was a Monday!

So from this quote, I am willing to state that Andrea, a politician was unaware or just didn’t watch An Inconvenient Truth, a 2006 documentary film about former United States Vice President Al Gore’s campaign to educate citizens about global warming. I think that she failed on multiple levels, especially as she studied political sciences. This gets to be even more interesting when we see the quote “in the past she has written to the Prime Minister calling for cuts to wind farm subsidies, and has criticised the pre-coalition Labour government for signing up to an EU target that called for 15 per cent of the UK’s energy to come from renewable sources by 2015“,

That is the person accusing Governor Carney on ‘dangerous intervention’ activities!

Now, there is not enough information for me whether cuts to wind farm subsidies was right or wrong. Let’s not forget that the UK is over a trillion in debt and certain cuts need to be made. The other part is in this case (without more evidence) equally debatable. That does not change the fact that regardless of her past economic positions whether she is anywhere near qualified to comment on the actions of the Governor of the Bank of England.

In my not to humble opinion, I would state no! You see Mark Carney was quoted as: “Carney defended his impartiality, saying it was important that people do not ignore economic risks“, I reckon that leaving the EU could have a few consequences tax wise and the issues regarding her Guernsey-based brother-in-law, Peter de Putron. This is in light of the title ‘Top Tory has family link with offshore banker who gave party £800,000‘ (at http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/jul/08/andrea-leadsom-family-links-offshore-bank-donations-tories). You see, I am an Australian Liberal, meaning that I regard myself a British Conservative and let me tell you, I would contribute to my part, yet if I am really lucky, I could perhaps donate 0.05% of that amount at best. When I work day and night I expect to receive some form of income, not pay an additional 800K (an amount I will likely never have, not even with my University degrees). The fact that a Brother in Law banker hands that kind of donations out might not be too controversial when it is for charity, when it is to a political party one must question the reasoning (read: personal tactical benefits) here.

So there are all kinds of questions that come to mind regarding Andrea Leadsom and it is my personal believe that (Brexit or not), her questioning Governor Carney leaves a lot to be desired. This 2014 article reveals another part that is important to consider: “A US non-profit news organisation, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, has obtained records of more than 20,000 names. The Guardian has exclusively analysed the ICIJ’s data, and begins to reveal those who have had dealings with a discreet Jersey branch of Kleinwort Benson, a well-known London firm which specialises in ‘wealth management’“. When you consider that news and the ‘feigned’ emotions we saw regarding Mossack Fonseca, that part comes again into question. You see, the issue has been legislation, tax legislation, legislation of wealth management and this implies that some of the available data goes back to well before 2010. This clearly implies that Labor was very much in the know on these matters. It also clearly implies that both sides of the isle should have pushed tax reforms a lot sooner than is currently shown. I agree that people might see this as unreasonable, but let’s be clear, these loopholes are there, Andrea Leadsom broke no laws. We see another version of amoral versus immoral. In my view, in regards to her acts I could see her statement as immoral, mainly because the changes could end up giving her more loopholes to push non-taxable parts of herself across the British realm.

Am I wrong?

That is still the issue, because Brexit will cause a massive amount of concerns and in that regard to keep the UK interesting more tax breaks might be the consequence of the EU separation (speculative statement). I might be proven correct but it is too early day to tell what the actual taxation impact will be, that part will remain an unknown, especially as people realise that only 5 billion of the 220 billion to Greece entered the State coffers, the rest went to the banks, paying small parts of loans and massive parts of outstanding interest bills. That is the driving realisation that more and more people are going towards the Brexit road. Most believe that the recession we hear about will be short lived and the upbeat will grow stronger and stronger as the loans diminish. I agree to some degree, but I equally foresee that Mark Carney is correct, the recession that is likely to follow will change the timeline, perhaps by a lot. That is the part that is absent of an answer, absent of a final solution, most of us believe that not being part of paying for other UK only recessions is the quickest way to a surplus finance coffer.

This is how I feel to some degree, but the warnings that Mark Carney gives us are not to be ignored. Plainly stated, at present the difference between a coffer and a coffin is currently way too small for my comfort.

This is why I remain on the fence. I am not completely convinced either way, but Mark Carney was clear and concise in the House of Lords and that was the massive sway to get me from certainly Brexit to almost cautiously Bremain. Yet the biggest issues are not within the UK, Greece, the IMF and other parties are trying to keep the present engine running, in addition the US economy with minus 19 trillion is equally a concern as the debt grew with 1 trillion in a year, basically it gained the total UK debt in less than 20 months, as they are closely linked with the Euro, one will tumble the other, in that regard Brexit is still the way to go in my book. It does not diminish the risks that Mark Carney warned us for, it makes just makes them more acceptable in my book. Nowhere do I mention that Governor Carney was guilty of ‘dangerous intervention’, he is merely informing us. I think that pro Brexit Andrea Leadsom did something stupid, she might be pro Brexit like I was in the beginning, but her less than intelligent remark only pushes people away from Brexit as her statement can be dissected by people less intelligent than me in mere seconds.

So, I still remain on the fence because the reasons for Brexit are there, but less strong than they were, merely because the risk we run by Brexit. In my mind the question becomes, if there is no Brexit, can we truly make the rest of Europe more accountable for their budgets? That part is still the number one reason for me to consider Brexit. I am not pointing the finger at Greece here, but at the total debt Europe has, which is almost equaling the American debt. The question is, how much of this debt is instilled by Wall Street to keep the seesaw of economics in balance? To keep the machine running to satisfy the 35,000 greed driven executives on Wall Street? We seem to focus on the top 1% in America, which makes for the 3 million people living really really nice, but that is nothing compared to the top 1% of that top 1%, their wealth is beyond measure, consider that only 1% of that top list (the 1% of the 1%) are the 350 people that made the small solutions like Facebook, Oracle, Apple and Microsoft.

I will give you one guess to guess where the other 34,650 got their money from.

This is why I still remain a little towards Brexit, because governments on a global scale ignored the need for proper legislation. At present the US might promise a lot, but in the end he has become nothing more than a quack quack president and as such he will not get anything done. Isn’t it nice that he wants to act in the 11th hour whilst his own party will be very unlikely to support him? You see they are also up for re-election and they have options for another term, President Obama does not. Now consider the ‘evidence’ I gave at the beginning, basically this issue was ignored for 7 years. If you are considering that I am not being up front and honest with you, consider the fact that President Obama did not once mention the US tax havens that are in the US, to be more precise, the Rothschild Trusts all over America, their total treasures are stated to be in excess of 100 trillion, but no one can tell for sure, their fortune is too vast and always in motion. This is only one voice, mine, apparently there are 18,446,744,073,709,551,615 other views on this.

 

 

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Is it just me?

The Guardian had an interesting article yesterday. For me it is interesting because I might not be getting it. You see, in my mind, certain issues are clear as water. Pink is pink and Green is green (avoiding a Black & White issue). So when I read ‘Bill forcing people to prove nationality slammed as discriminatory‘. So when we see the quote “The Conservatives want to give police and immigration officers the power to order people who have been arrested to state their nationality and require those believed to be foreign nationals to produce their nationality documents, such as a passport. Failure to do so within 72 hours would become a criminal offence under the policing and crime bill currently going through parliament“, I saw no issue, or perhaps better stated, not a large one. The question initially is how far does ‘such as a passport’ go?

Not everyone has a passport, or the means to quickly get one. So ‘such as’ should allow for a little bit of leniency. So when I saw the defence “But concerns have been raised by civil liberties groups, as well as some immigration and policing experts, that people will be targeted because of how they look, their accent and their skin colour“. Is that all they have? The UK has a fluctuating amount of immigrants. The numbers tend to be around the 750K, which gives us that 1.1% is in the UK illegally, impacting the British way of life. Something needs to be done and by far the illegal part is not from Sweden, the Netherlands or Ireland, but from Eastern Europe, Africa and Asia. So how are accent, colour and skin tones not valid reasons?

This is not about discrimination, this is about finding illegal visitors.

In my view, going from “Sara Ogilvie, policy officer at Liberty, the civil rights organisation, said: “The only grounds on which police could decide someone might not be British are their appearance and their accent, so the very basis of this policy is discrimination“, I would state that Sara Ogilvie has lost the plot. Ideology in a time where nations go bankrupt because of overprotection against those who do not respect or abide by law, how can those laws be just? How can this work? The reason why the UK is willing to dump the Human Rights Act because it has become an anchor that protects the transgressors and blocks the victims as well as the prosecutors. How are Civil Rights valid, when they are used by criminals and transgressors to secure their activities?

The second quote “The government aims to remove as many foreign national offenders (FNOs) as quickly as possible to their home countries, to protect the public, to reduce costs and to free up spaces in prison” is equally damning, but now towards the government. You see, the part “Foreign nationals comprise 12% of the prison population in England and Wales“. The issue here becomes less about the FNO’s, it becomes the issue of establishing his real identity. Still, the quote “successful identification is particularly difficult where an individual is not carrying a document at the time of arrest” remains true and the additional quote “Making it a criminal offence for a person arrested to fail to produce a passport on demand or state a nationality is unnecessary, heavy handed and carries its own risks. A police officer need only suspect a person is not a British citizen to demand a passport” remains in opposition. Why is there such an opposition against identifying one’s self? I am not against a right of privacy, is it however such a stretch to require to identify one’s self to be able to hide behind this right of privacy?

I am taking intentionally this chicken and the egg view for a very simple reason, the law applies to the established population, a British one!

Now, I am aware that my approach is equally flawed to some extent. Yet to some extent the overprotection of the populous has impacted that the bulk of criminals are better protected than the rest or the victims. The Huffington Post stated it in an interesting way in the headline “‘Human Rights Have Become Dirty Words’: Lord Anthony Lester On The Five Things We Should Fight For“, which is close to the heart of the matter, Human Rights have become dirty words, that is not an imagination, in equal measure we ignore one bit, you see Lord Lester writes in his new book ‘Five Ideas To Fight For’, the need to fight for human rights, equality, free speech, privacy and rule of law. I do not disagree with Lord Lester, yet the fact that these elements have proven in the past to be more protective to the criminals and transgressors than the population at large as well as the victims of criminals and transgressors remains a fact too. Legislators have done too little to protect victims at large and hid behind what is a legal act of humanity and not on the rule of law to protect victims.

Lord Lester has additional info (at http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/human-rights-act-lord-lester_uk_571f9574e4b06bf544e0ce6f), the article states: “Lester does not believe the public share the media’s loathing of the HRA. As a Lib Dem member of the Bill of Rights Commission, he took part in two public consultations, travelling across the country to hold seminars, conferences and debates“, I personally believe that this is not correct. As the British way of life was decimated, the quality of life has been drained to below the minimum, there are plenty who are abandoning several Acts if that changes things for them. The press is part of the problem as they have been ‘illuminating’ events for maximum effect, drama and circulation by not truly informing people. That applies to well over 90% of all papers.

So where is the solution?

To protect Human Rights, to protect a humane way of life requires legislation to be adjusted to set forth and set on the first need, the victims, under a rule of law where victims and not transgressors are set in a first light. The Human Rights Acts became folly when it set the victims and criminals on the same level, with equal rights. That level was the first folly to undo a century of growth. The HRA is only the first step. Turkey is throwing fuel on the fire in several ways. Now that the EU has buckled like a wet tissue, we get ‘EU conditionally backs visa-free travel for Turkey, unveils asylum changes’, which ABC released yesterday. The first quote that will unleash hell is “The European Commission also unveiled an overhaul of its asylum system under which member states that refuse to take a quota of refugees will be fined“, this implies that self-governing is no longer an option, or only an option at a price. A forced ruling that could bankrupt anyone. An initial layer of protection could be to reinstate capital punishment. That gives governments the options that those who transgress beyond acceptable levels are put to death or incarcerated for all time. That is the part that these Human Rights Activists refuse to accept. The need for accountability in Bankers and Beggars alike, Residents and Refugees held to one account!

In my view, my personal opinion, I reckon that this act should be decently enough to push the British population to a level where we see a stronger push towards Brexit. The quote “Turkey has threatened to tear up the March agreement to take back asylum who cross the Aegean Sea to Greece if the EU fails to keep its promise to allow Turks to travel without visas to the Schengen area by the end of June” completes the deal. A nation that with the population of 78 million has a GDP that is at least 10% less than the Netherlands who achieves the same with a population 78% smaller. I will ignore the corruption and criminal indexes, places where Turkey does not score well, what is more important is the dangers that Turkey represents. The Greek refugee pressures due to corruption or utter inability of the Turkish government to stop refugees and smugglers. A nation bordering Iran, Iraq and Syria. That is the nation who is receiving free passage into Europe, whilst it has shown to be untrustworthy on several occasions?

 

If would amount to giving the European presidency to the Norwegian Hel, daughter of Loki, which in light of the flaccid politicians on a near global scale seems such a well-adjusted truth. In all fairness if this comes to blows than Norway would be one of the few nations left in Europe, for how long is an entirely different question.

So how wrong is my view?

I will forever work from a setting where I am wrong, for the mere reason that not digging and critically opposing my own view is the only way to find a balanced conclusion. You see, the BBC reported that ‘EU referendum: Turkey joining EU ‘not remotely on cards’, says PM‘ is not incorrect, yet when refugees are combined with millions of Turks start looking for a ‘better’ solution and the Turks get the legal run of the land? How many infrastructures will collapse within mere months? That fear is clearly over illuminated, including by me. I do not believe I am instilling fear, but instilling reality (don’t we all claim that same thing?).

Consider the parts I mentioned. Not just now, but over the past few months. Europe has failed the UK and other nations for a convoluted image that has no bearing on reality, whilst the coffers that would support any life resembling this have been drained by people who will walk away from that Europe and await until this generation rips itself apart, Which does not seem to be too realistic a view, I will immediately admit to that, yet as we see how ‘taxable’ dollars move away, whilst politicians remain unable to change anything, other than emotional posturing. How much taxation has been collected?

The Mossack Fonseca case has shown the following, in the Times of Malta we see “The Times of Malta is informed that Adrian Hernan Dixon Sanchez, who has been in Malta since the opening of Mossack’s representative office in May 2013, tendered his resignation last week. He was immediately replaced by two other directors, Juergen Mossack Herzog and Ramon Fonseca Mora – both residing in Panama“, in addition we see that over the last month the people seem taken aback, some quit, some moved on, but there are no actions coming any day soon. You see all the emotional posturing sounds nice, but so far NO ONE reported on any crimes, there is no evidence and due to the hack, most ‘evidence’ would end up being non admissible. All that press coverage wasted on an issue that is unlikely to go anywhere. We see quotes like ‘what you need to know‘ and ‘Mossack Fonseca was a hack waiting to happen’, all emotion, too little facts. Even the way the hack was done remains a mystery. We see more links to Sony and how Cyber threats are a thing of today, yet in all this, such precision is either from the inside or requires hardware only large governments can access. This is not a conspiracy theory, this is fact. You see, the other option is that Mossack Fonseca became reckless. Reckless on a multibillion dollar environment. I will let you decide! Just consider Greece and the near 2100 wealthy people who siphoned billions away from Greece. In those 3 years, how many taxable billions came back to lighten the load of Greece?  A nation only weeks away from the next debt crises. I will admit that the last one has additional pressures from Refugees, but clearly there are no solutions in sight, with or without refugees!

Why is this last part added?

You see, whatever humane path is to be trodden, it will require massive funds, funds that are nowhere available to be taxed. Corporations played the politicians so that legislation never happened. Now most governments have no funds to deal with even the smallest required refugee option. That is at the core of the problem and many people are seeing the rains come, this fuels Brexit. In that same light the UK could end up dropping the Human Rights Act. There is enough doubt on whether it will truly happen, but overall the Human Rights Advocates remain ideological in an age where pragmatism is called for. I believe that to be a massive reason for the swing we are seeing.

I could be wrong and it could just be me!

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How pointless can a politician be?

That is the first part in the consideration that we see when we see the latest hype for journalists to ignore the reality of the events as they play. This presented reality was given to us today (at http://www.theguardian.com/news/2016/apr/13/mossack-fonseca-raided-offices-investigators-panama), when we consider the article. The title is only part of the deception we are confronted with. ‘Mossack Fonseca raided as investigators meet in Paris to launch tax probe‘, the first level of entertainment. The next is the quote “under the command of prosecutor Javier Caravallo, who specialises in organised crime and money laundering“, really? What education does this man have? The legality of off shore banking has been made so complex that the bulk of the Harvard professors cannot make head or tails of it. So, this Javier Caravallo, a mere prosecutor can figure it out? Who are the journalists kidding here? Mind you, this is not me trying to bring insult to a prosecutor, and I have no knowledge of Javier Caravallo, or have any issues with this man. Yet, if we can agree that Marky Mark of the British Bank (aka Mark Carney), former Governor of the bank of Canada and current Governor of the Bank of England cannot get his head around the off shore cash ‘storage’ issues, can we all agree that Javier Caravallo is out of his depth (and not by a little)?

We then get the quote “The raid comes after the leak of Mossack Fonseca’s huge database provoked international concern about the offshore industry“, which is a truth, yet there are issues, there are massive questions and they need addressing, yet in that similar way the issue is that the US is involved in this as well (personal observation). The fact that Florida is a growing tax haven and that states such as Delaware, Nevada, South Dakota and Wyoming, in particular, are competing with each other to provide foreigners with the secrecy they crave, which is a quote I got from CBS (at http://miami.cbslocal.com/2016/04/06/us-is-emerging-as-a-tax-haven-alongside-switzerland-caymans/), this all is also linked to a Bloomberg article I discussed a few days ago in the article titled ‘Delusional‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2016/04/07/delusional/). It seems that this loud sabre rattling is more about empowering the Rothschild Empire than it is about Mossack Fonseca. The fact that the Guardian remains silent on that part 50 shades of gold, gives me the impression that this is about chastising towards hypocrisy and not about the news at all, this is not even about decent reporting of the news. Which, in my personal mind, gives me the impression that the editorial levels Katharine Viner has gone to regarding certain players is about to hit a new all-time low (but that could just be me).

Yet we are not done here, because this form of comedy is about to get new players. Australian Commissioner Chris Jordan, who in the Guardian article is introduced as a person with a “global mindset for tackling tax evasion and aggressive tax avoidance”. That might be true, it might not. For now we cannot tell because there are elements the press is anxiously avoiding, meaning that the politicians could be aiming to do the same thing.

You see, linked to this is an article from July 2013 (at http://www.theguardian.com/business/2013/jul/14/us-tax-avoidance-google-amazon), where we see “senior officials in Washington have made it known they will not stand for rule changes that narrowly target the activities of some of the nation’s fastest growing multinationals“, 2013? Fastest growing multinationals? I personally think that these are senior ‘spokespeople’ that are in the pockets of large corporations, is that such a stretch? Consider the way that the US tax havens have been avoided by the press at large (apart from Bloomberg and a few CBS articles), consider that all these actions against Mossack Fonseca came from criminal activities, whilst so far not one clear piece of evidence is given that laws have been broken. (a 0.2% infringement does not constitute crime), in addition consider that the largest transgressor of financial ‘morality’ flushed 15 trillion (estimated loss from 2008) into the sewers and we learned this week that one of the principle parties in that event got a mere fine of 5 billion (at http://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/apr/11/goldman-sachs-2008-financial-crisis-mortagage-backed-securities), meaning that the 8 year hardship the American people and Europe at large is paid off with a mere one year of bonuses, which is a true source of hilarity, because it truly gives vision, in my personal view that the US Department of Justice is no longer anything else than a joke.

The final quote is the kicker “The deal, however, includes no criminal sanctions or penalties and is likely to stir additional criticism about the Justice Department’s inability to hold bank executives personally responsible for the financial crisis“, I believe it to be even worse. If any fact ever emerges that the US in any form or size was, as speculated by some cyber specialists, to be behind the Panama Caper, than the transgressions that will massively rule in favour of the Rothschild enterprise will leave the mark that the US government could end up being the most corrupt one in the history of this world, how interesting that the press at large is steering clear of that little titbit.

So what kind of comedy are we seeing unfold?

A slapstick? A piece of presentation where bankers throw pies of money at each other, whilst charging the crowd for every pie, the receiver of the pie pays nothing, the taxpayer pays for the event whilst the cash stuck to the suits of bankers who will charge the government for cleaning the cash and cleaning the suits. A free for all where only the banker ended up smiling and the people paid whilst not getting any entertainment value at all (and a cleaning bill added to their tax papers)

A Farce? The improbable situation where we all look to the left where no crime was committed, we get the quote to ponder ‘A wonderful thing about true wealth is that it just destroys any kind of justice or equality‘, which is shown as the ‘criminals’ involved only pay 0.015% of the damages, the rest is paid for by those watching the damage outside the theatre.

A Satire, where we see presenters mock Mossack Fonseca, whilst they all laughingly carry the bags of ‘evidence’ into Rothschild Trust North America LLC and stating after the delivery that the carried laughter was not guilty of being un-American.

Last there is the Parody, which is exactly like the previous event, but it now just claims that the money shelves in Nevada are just so much prettier than the ones in Panama.

We ignore the Revue, as most politicians can’t sing and in addition, we prefer those who can sing not to do so!

So there are the moments of comedy, the question becomes, which version are we attending here? In this we need to look at Chris Jordan. You see, there is an additional part in this, which we see when we contemplate that this will be chaired by Mark Konza who is the head of the international tax department at the Australian tax office. You see, there is another side in all this. The side I mentioned earlier is also the biggest problem. You see, the Americans are being kept out of all this. This is in part of being confronted with a lame duck inhabitant of a not so circular white building. The quote to mind is “It occurred on the eve of a meeting in Paris of senior officials from the world’s tax authorities, who are intent on analysing the documents as part of new global strategy to crack down on offenders“, which sounds nice, but it is just an empty statement. That view can be fortified when you realise that after the President of the United States wasting the time of any officials in the Hague, we get the fact that after those events (as stated in the Guardian), that “opposition from the US forced the watering down of proposals“, which is what will happen again, but now in another way. You see, in the final moment of presidency, that person tends to be useless (not by choice), as the new president is about to be elected and can undo whatever this president leaves behind. Instead of setting the meetings until AFTER the elections, we see Saber rattling and empty actions. America is part of the problem here and until a strong legislation is placed, the only thing that this tax overhaul will do is play into the hands of Rothschild Wealth management.

Is that where we are heading to?

You see, no matter how we feel about it, we are presented a mere play where the bankers behind the screens are laughing out loud, and they aren’t even hiding that sentiment anymore. As trillions go into trusts and shelters we see no improvements, we see no changes. Until several fundamental changes are set into laws, all actions that happen beforehand are merely wastes of time. It only propagates the false image of the politician, the emptiness of sincerity of the bankers and the injustice of governments supporting these actions. That is the issue at hand and the press publications on a near global scale are ignoring this.

When you read the paper tomorrow, wonder where the US is and why the papers and politicians remain silent on all that.

Finally there is one additional point to make. It was initially mentioned by the Independent last Friday (at http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/panama-papers-banks-must-declare-links-to-mossack-fonseca-by-next-week-a6972971.html) where we see “Banks must declare links to Mossack Fonseca by next week“, is that not interesting? You see they are not the only players. As stated, there is Rothschild Trust North America LLC and one of the larger players namely Natixis Global Asset Management. Are those mentions not equally important? You see, if this becomes a game of discrimination, what laws can be enforced? Common law has been very clear on that over the decades. It is even a bigger issues in France where we see: “Some French politicians have intervened, demanding that the French government permits US citizens in France the right to hold a bank account that is accorded to every other resident in the country. The national ombudsman, the Défenseur des droits, has also been asked to investigate cases of discrimination by French banks” an issue that played one year ago, which makes me wonder what additional infusion Natixis Global Asset Management received over the last year. In all that, will the tax commission be a comedy, or a mere circus with Chris Jordan and Mark Konza as ringmasters, because at this point, the Americans will stay in the shadows as much as possible.

 

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