Tag Archives: Netherlands

A screen made with real silver

Forbes gave us the news on Monday. Many expected it; many saw it coming and no one is really surprised. It’s ‘Netflix’s Worst Nightmare Is Coming True‘. Stephen McBride gives us: “If you’ve been reading RiskHedge, you know I’ve been warning to keep money out of stock market darling Netflix (NFLX)“, he was of course correct, yet I would not go there for different reasons, reasons he actually mentions in part. As we are treated to: “It comes down to the lifecycle of disruptive businesses. Netflix pioneered “streaming” video where you watch shows through the Internet rather than on cable TV. For years, it was the only streaming service in town. Early investors rode this first-mover advantage to 10,000% gains from 2008 to July of this year.” Many, for the most the investors rejoiced. I saw the loaded cannon in another direction. As Forbes gives us, we are treated to: “Netflix had planned to spend $8 billion on shows and series this year… now it’ll spend roughly $12 billion. It now invests more in content than any other American TV network” that is where the danger is. You see, the cold hearted calculation is: 137 million users worldwide. This gets us on average $24 billion a year, it looks good, but it is not great. You see, this only works if this goes on in the long run, whilst it requires growth, it also requires people to stay with Netflix for a long time. Now, both are an option, but they have muddied the waters in another way. First there are the loans and the interest is due, as well as the principle of the matter (aka, the loan). It is optionally not a big thing if things were great moving forward, yet they are not. I had an idea earlier this year and I thought that handing it to Netflix is a great way to gain momentum. You see, I have written 1100 articles within the last 6 years alone and as such I do have a few ideas running around in my head.

Yet Netflix has a no-unsolicited submissions policy, so until you have an agent and such, there is no option. They only accept submissions through a licensed literary agent or from a producer, attorney, manager or entertainment executive with the players that Netflix has a pre-existing relationship. This makes total sense, yet it also gives rise to a much more expensive track, and $12 billion shows part of that. From my point of view new ideas and optionally the most profitable ones are found in what some would call ‘the geek corner’, these people can often not relate, cannot present but they tell great stories, they are most often really cheap and original. It is a much harder sell, yet the entire expense track could be down by at least 10%, saving Netflix $1.2 billion on the spot. Then there is the international concept. Some TV series became great in their own way. Sweden had Pipi Longstocking and that become a much loved character on a very global stage. Another Swedish treasure was a 70’s series called the White Stone, based on the book by Gunnel Linde, Sweden had its own share of successes down the track and we realise that some might seem less interesting nowadays. The Netherlands had the legendary series ‘Kunt U mij de weg naar Hamelen vertellen meneer?‘ It was a song story by children based on the Grimm story of the ratcatcher of Hameln. The series apart from some a few episodes is lost forever, which is a shame as this was a cultural highlight for the Dutch. The French had Thierry la Fronde, La demoiselle d’Avignon and several more, all unseen by a global audience. It is an option, but is that the case?

No it is not.

Netflix has shown that their money is well spent; series like Sabrina, The Haunting of Hill House and Altered Carbon are amazing achievements. We can clearly see that billions were well spend, yet in this donuts for dollars world, the overall stage (non-advertising space mind you), the annual setting for their audience is set to a requirement of close to 365 to 700 hours of TV entertainment a year to keep them, which that adds up to Sabrina, Star Trek Discovery, Haunting of Hill house, the Good Witch, Marvel’s The Punisher, Lost In Space, The OA, Seven Seconds, The Rain, Requiem, 3%, The Innocents, Sense 8, Grace and Frankie, Godless, The Mechanism, Dark, The Crown, Marvel’s Daredevil, A Series of Unfortunate Events, Stranger Things, Lady Dynamite, Glow, Sabrina, Altered Carbon, Mindhunter and at least 20 movies. They need to pull this off each year, and that pressure with Disney+ also increases, as the chance of switching to someone else is more and more likely.

We get that there are series that will always take the cake (Game of Thrones), and in this we see that there is some space to manoeuvre, but it is not a lot. You see, if someone loses the interest for 3 days, they will wonder what Netflix is for and optionally cancel, especially in this economy. That is the clear math I saw at the very beginning. It is not the price; $15 (the medium option) is more often than not a really acceptable price to most people. Netflix got that right, they merely need to find another additional venue for materials, because the well of creation will soon dry up, not merely because there are other players on the field, it is that Free to air TV, and other medium are vying for that same pool of viewers. Netflix as the first one has an advantage, but for how long?

Stephen McBride, a professional fund manager and the chief analyst at RiskHedge makes his financial case and that adds up to the findings I have. I am not sure on what the share price needs to be, yet his financial case and my mere view of the low average viewer gives light to a Netflix in trouble, how much is a clear unknown. Netflix has shown that with Sabrina and The Haunting of Hill House a new level of creepiness can be reached. Sabrina is a new take on what was fluffy, whilst The Haunting of Hill House had most of my friends scared beyond belief, so that series hit the mark. I saw the interesting catch on Lost in Space that after the original series and a movie can capture hearts all over the place, so Netflix is bringing the good stuff, no doubt about it. However, the entire setting is still low on hours. Even if year one for the audience is great, they will want more, or at least no less in the stage of year two and that is where I see trouble for Netflix. This business model will not work pumping billion after billion in a stage that grows ever more, and the path gets worse as more and more is borrowed.

That is the business case that is lost from the very start. This is all before we all realise that the need for Internet and 4K grows, so their infrastructure will shift within the next two years as well and their cloud will need a serious amount of cash to deal with that. I speculatively reckon that by 2021 (if Netflix makes it that long) will equal the NSA data server site at Camp Williams (Utah), so please take a moment to reflect on this. Netflix will in three years require the systems to facilitate to an audience and its hardware will be bigger than the Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative (CNCI), with the ability to serve optionally a little over half a billion people. That is the path that Netflix is on and people wonder why I am overly negative. Well, overly negative is a stretch. It is the old fashioned sales pitch. A man sells his soul to the devil, the devil agrees and the deal is that he needs to grow his customer base by 20%. Those who know of the value of a chess set might know that one too. That man required as payment one grain the first tile, and double one the next one and so on, until all 64 tiles were paid for. 1,2,4,8,16,32,64,128 (totaling 255 grains) and that is merely the first row, after that it goes fast and by the last row it the tile payment equalled the total grain production of Russia. In customer base you require a customer base that surpasses the total population, or in this specific case the hardware of a former super power. Also consider that over time Netflix needs to open a similar base in Europe and Asia to maximise the streaming within the time zones. How much will that cost? Oh and before you think that this is it, how much power will it take to keep that running? It is set to be $50 million a year in energy cost and 1 million gallons of water a day (per base). That is if there are no power surges and other calamities giving hardship to all this. Now we see more and more providers handing out one year of free Netflix, they will have a deal with Netflix, yet year one is not the problem, year two is the bigger issue, content makes that a challenge and as is stated in Forbes: “Netflix has three bad choices: continue borrowing billions and bury itself deeper in debt… dramatically raise its subscription prices… or cut back on making new content“, if we see the three, we wonder what impact monthly increases does, I reckon that they could go for the option of one price (HD, 4K) at the same price of $16. Basically get rid of Normal and merely have basic and premium (for $5 more), it will give a boost and most people might not worry about the $5, knowing that they could always upgrade their hardware and get better viewing. Borrowing billions is a non-starter as I see it, it merely lowers the lifespan, yet the final option ‘cut back on making new content‘, is not set in stone. What if we go by ‘making different new content‘, are they exploring that? This is where the golden oldies might bring life to the amount of materials they get at a much lesser expense. Disney is all about the family and the younger viewers. Disney rules that land, yet in the 70’s we saw that Scandinavia had its share of series appreciated by kids all over Europe and that might lower the edge that Disney has (to a small extent).

In addition, making different new content might also increase the amount of content that can be made with $12 billion. I hope Netflix pulls through, when we are confronted with The Haunting of Hill House we see that they have amazing diamonds to offer any crown viewer and I am curious what else they can come up with, especially after Sabrina.

When we consider this, how many have taken a look for the best TV series from the 70’s? I did and I reckon that this is not where we find the answers, there will be too many people remembering those, yet the international field where a local TV series makes it into the global population will be for the most real new stuff to many, there will be a risk, you see, for every remake like Three man and a baby there is the risk of having at least two mediocre versions like ‘the Birdcage’, and with an audience of 135 million moving towards 200 million diversity will be key. I am not sure how it is to be solved and the makers will have their challenge cut out for them, but the takings for them will be huge if they pull it off. In the end, the search for originality goes on and as we go for books, movies and optional video games (Alicia Vikander or Michael Fassbender anyone?) we see options. Yet how does it go when we go dark, really dark and we take a night at the museum into a very different direction? What if we push the nightwatchman into the Night watch and he has to survive the events of The Shooting Company of Frans Banning Cocq and Willem van Ruytenburch in 1640, where he has to survive the night, not get shot for optional accusation of theft of the 100 florins that each of the 16 members had brought as payment to Rembrandt van Rijn and get back out without leaving a mark. We might think it is fun to walk in on Hortense Mancini by Jacob Fredinand Voet, yet what happens when you end up in The Wayfarer by Hieronymus Bosch (1503) and you have to get back then?

We can add twists on nearly any TV series, but will it work? It is not for us to solve, it is for Netflix to find a solution and that is where the problem starts, I might phrase it wrong, the problem did not start there. We were informed last year that Netflix cancelled 21 series, it does not really matter why, number of viewers tends to be the most likely reason, it merely adds the pressure for new content to be created, remember that they need between 365 and 700 hours per viewer for them to remain decently content. And in that picture, creating new content is a lot harder than merely creating a new season, the ante is up for the creators and so is the pressure for Netflix.

At least that is how I see it, and in this, the cinema has a silver screen, Netflix will need gold to score and they have to do it 20 times over each year making the effort unfathomable and each year that they do pull it off will add to the legend that started as Netflix.

 

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Finance, IT, Media, movies, Science

That Grrrrrrr moment

I have had my issues with the large corporations for the longest of times. I am not against their existence, I have nothing against corporations making wealth and having a great run of revenue, being against that is just lame and idiotic. Yet corporations should be held to account, properly taxed. So whilst politicians hide behind the coattails of economists like Thomas Piketty for all the most idiotic and self centrered reasons, how about we change a few other things first?

The article ‘Group led by Thomas Piketty presents plan for ‘a fairer Europe’‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/dec/09/eu-brexit-piketty-tax-google-facebook-apple-manifesto), needs to get a clue, and fast. In addition buying a few vowels from Susie Dent is not the worst idea either. this is a personal joke towards Chrononhotonthologos (a Scrabble hit) and the mention of “As you both behave to Night, You shall be paid to Morrow“, a different stroke towards consultancy for shaping ones economy. As I see: “A group of progressive Europeans led by the economist and author Thomas Piketty has drawn up a bold new blueprint for a fairer Europe to address the division, disenchantment, inequality and right-wing populism sweeping the continent“, my blood goes slightly on the boil. How about properly taxing the members of the FAANG group? (Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google), or How about stopping the EU gravy train by at least 85%?

Two elements optionally bringing in billions and you know this! These people are given leeway in ways most people cannot fathom. ‘The Rotten Apple: Tax Avoidance in Ireland‘ gives us: “The European Commission found that Ireland gave Apple preferential tax treatment which amounted to $14.5 billion in unpaid taxes between 2003 and 2014. Due to Apple’s tax havens in Ireland, they have taken advantage of U.S. and Irish tax regulations” and that is merely the top of the iceberg. When we see the angering part with: “In fact, this selective treatment allowed Apple to pay an effective corporate tax rate of 1 per cent on its European profits in 2003 down to 0.005 per cent in 2014” (source: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-16-2923_en.htm), we see that the EU has failed itself and now we see the unacceptable quote: ‘€800bn of levies‘, whilst we get it set into some ‘tax the rich’ status, we need to be weary of the delusional setting of these “more than 50 economists, historians and former politicians from half a dozen countries“. So when we see: “by taxing corporate profits more effectively, as well as income and wealth“. In the foundation that step is not wrong, I am all for properly taxing corporations, yet the EU is part of the problem, it has given away the keys to banks and corporations to so as they like. I do believe that ‘0.005 per cent of profit‘ is ample evidence of that. It is the ‘tax the wealth that is an issue’, because that is where the problem starts. The wealth tax is 5000 times higher than Apple apparently pays. the first sign where we see: “an extra 15% levy on corporate profits, tax increases on individuals earning more than €100,000, a wealth tax on personal fortunes above €1m, and a tax on carbon emissions“, is the problem. These high paid wankers (pardon my French) is not about getting to the corporations, it is the ‘personal fortune‘ that they seem to be after. Now, before you think that you are safe, think again. Your house is part of that making many people considered to be multimillionaires; they now all get a levy on what these gravy train wannabes call ‘fairness’. How about holding all the economic advisors of all governments to account, for any wrongful advice that impacted the government and European coffers negatively for over €250,000, we fine these advisors with €25,000 euro, all of them. This is likely to impact all those economists that hid behind ‘it was a complex situation‘, or ‘carefully phrased denial of corporate facilitation‘. This is the easiest to see with the Dutch fiasco called Fyra (a high speed train) that impacted tax payers by €11 billion. When we see “The Fyra-story also demonstrates that powerful corporate interests (in this case Dutch Railways’ desire to remain the sole rail service provider in The Netherlands) can abuse their position and waste an unbelievable amount of taxpayers’ money“, on a short sighted and narrow-minded view of what the ego wants, whilst the coffers cannot ever afford a scheme that will never be cost effective, we see: “Dutch daily NRC Handelsblad reported in January that the HSA never had the intention to operate a “true” high speed rail service; a strong piece of investigative journalism stated that a speed of 220 kilometers per hour had been deemed sufficient for the Dutch portion of the route from the git-go by the HSA executives (by comparison, high speed rail service in Germany and France exceeds 300 kilometers per hour)“, the setting of simple definitions where the different nations in the EU could not agree on that mere setting. So how about giving a fine to all decision makers costing the Dutch government 11 billion? How about making the bulk of tax deductibles no longer applicable? Any corporation can make a profit when corporate tax is one percent or less, it is time to set the proper stage of corporation tax and that part they imply to get right, but they cannot, so these individuals add ‘a wealth tax on personal fortunes above €1m‘. You see, they do not set it on personal fortunes over €15 million, and hit the truly wealthy, no they need a lot more, because properly taxing the FAANG group (and several others) is just too dangerous. I would in my least diplomatic setting offer that the entire economic fiasco could have been avoided. If their fathers had jerked off over the radiator, instead of impregnating their wives, the entire economic danger to all of us would have died with a sizzle, how wrong am I now? (OK, admitted I am totally lacking diplomacy here)

So when we see: “From a tax on personal wealth and assets: an additional 1% on estates valued at above €1m and 2% on those above €5m” accounting for over 25%, we see a dang3er to too many people all over the EU. Try to find ANY apartment or house for less than €700K in most European metropolitan area’s; it will hit too many people, whilst the truly rich will avoid disaster. This entire matter is as I personally see it a joke.

I suggest:

Any government not being able to hold its budget within 2% over budget, its elected politicians will have to return 25% of their income, those who are unable to do so are removed from office and in addition will have to be incarcerated for no less than the full term +2 years of that government. Regardless, of this, in addition, the entire Gravy train comes to a standstill (and right quick). For these people travel and housing expenses are reduced by 60%, they should be ab le to find a cheaper solution. The Guardian gave us in 2016: “According to a European Union financial transparency system, commission staff spent €22,193 (£17,610) staying at the five-star Shangri-La hotel in Singapore and €54,677 at the five-star Stamford hotel in Brisbane in 2014. Other expenses listed that year include €439,341 on Abelag/Luxaviation, a luxury private jet provider, and €23,696 on chauffeur taxi services“, that needs to stop as well. It is my personal view that Thomas Piketty and his 50 economists (an optional new version of Ali Baba and the 40 thieves) should have stayed in their cave, and not come out at all. Now we have the setting to go over these 50 economists and seek all the things that they helped hide from their senior peers and that is essential now. You see as we are introduced to “a bold new blueprint for a fairer Europe“, is also the optional setting to hold these people who cased all of this by facilitating to corporations and banks to account through prosecution. I find it tasteless and unacceptable that just like Greece, those who caused the mess get to walk away with a pretty penny in their pocket as well.

And this mess is not nearly over. When we look at a few parts, we get to start with: ‘The 1999 Santer Commission Scandal‘, you would think that in 1999, when we get “a devastating report on fraud and nepotism attacked the EU’s executive body for serious management failings. All 20 members of the Commission stepped down, in what was described at the time as the biggest crisis in the European Commission’s history” (source: Brussels Times), you would think that this is the end of it. No no, (at https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-eu-santer-idUKTRE80N1UG20120124) Reuters reported in 2012 ‘EU draws fire over Santer return to EU post‘ “Prompted to defend Santer at a late night press conference on Monday, Olli Rehn, the European commissioner in charge of economic and monetary affairs, tried to make light of it, saying journalists only became critical of Santer after Commission officials beat them in a football match in late 1998“, politicians making light of the situation in a farce involving nepotism, and as such we can make certain levels of claim towards corruption. Forms of corruption vary, yet they do include: bribery, extortion, cronyism, nepotism, parochialism, patronage, influence peddling, graft, and embezzlement. So as such, the fact that we allow European politicians to re-enter the EU commission after being found guilty here is just too unacceptable. That by itself could also be a cost saving exercise, so does our Thomas Rickety Piketty warlock have a spell on all of us, by merely setting a facade to make thing better for all of us, or merely not worse for some of them? I think that the escalations in France are making people, people in power worried; they are facing the straw that is breaking the camel’s back. This is not something that they are making on the spot. This has been coming for the longest of times and even as I am not against taxing the rich a little more, we need to realise that the entire exercise is merely seen (by me) as a way to paste labels to mere traffic diversions for opening avenues of collecting others.

The primary objective of this survey is to understand the level of corruption perceived by businesses employing one or more persons‘ (at http://ec.europa.eu/commfrontoffice/publicopinion/flash/fl_374_sum_en.pdf), there we see that 38% does not regard nepotism a problem, 40% think that tax rates are a problem (in all fairness, that is a valid point of view to have for any business), and 45% considers corruption not to be a problem. In that setting, changes are not easy, correct changes are near impossible, as we see the setting where corporations and politicians can work together on a ‘compromise’ that will hit the lowly paid taxpayers a lot more than anyone else.

I actually presented a taxed solution in 2015, there I wrote in regards to the UK budget: “So, helping those on low pay is fine, but only if we change Basic rate to 21% and higher rate to 42%, which means that above the £10,600, the basic income goes up by a maximum of £318 and in addition, high income get an additional maximum of £836. This allows us a balanced budget, and if you wonder why not the highest toll bracket? Well, they also get the 1% of the base and the 2% of high anyway, that group is dwindling down and to seek even more to that smaller group seems a little unfair (the non-bankers that is). The second premise here is that this extra collected fee can ONLY be used to balance out the lost revenue from the basic rate group that had their annual income between £10,000 and £13,000 per annum“. The premise was to give the lowest incomes a little extra cash, so we raise the 0% tax maximum point a little; in that case these people will have a little more and we all profit there. As the non-taxable part goes up by a rough £100 a month, the second bracket gets an additional 1%, so they pay £318 more each year, and the second group (the much larger group) pays an additional £836 above that. It leaves the extra £100 without impact on the treasury, giving them extra and still having a stage to reduce debt (as long as Labour is kept out of the treasury coffers). In this case there was no additional impact of the wealthy, their houses not at risk and we would all be a little more social, no, not according to Thomas, the Rickety Piketty warlock. He wants an additional €800 billion, from what I can tell, because they cannot get their tax rules in order, getting the proper taxation in place and with the FAANG group paying as reported a mere 0.005 per cent of profit taxed, how can we ever get a staged setting of corporations in a fair playing field?

In ‘In fear of the future‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2015/03/16/in-fear-of-the-future/) I addressed the stage of the annual £43 billion interest bill, interest is cash lost and the economy that has to pay that much every years is running to keep in the same place, so adding the minimal hardship to reduce that amount, hopefully by reducing the debt to the degree that the interest goes down £1-£3 billion a year would be great, yet not entirely realistic. focussing on reducing the interest by £1 billion a year for the first 10 years is possible, yet it comes at a price and properly taxing corporations at a level that allows them continuance and growth (yet optionally not at opening a new super shop every year) is an option to seek. And even as we see ‘taxing the rich’ in the UK, the true rich is a group of no more than 6000 people, how are they coming up with these billions? So as I stated (in 2015): “If we can believe the 2014 article by the Guardian, this will hit 6000 people, which means that it only raise a few millions, so taxing the rich has always seemed like and always remains a hilarious act of pointlessness. It is the 1% from the basic rate that will truly make a difference. It will drive the debt down faster, it will lower the interest bill which will help lower the debt even more.” It is perfectly valid to disagree with me on this one. Yet Rickety Pickety hedges his bets by giving us: “a tax on personal wealth and assets“, this includes your house and car. Now consider the amount of houses and apartments close to €1 million, in addition, we cannot see if retirement funds are seen as ‘wealth’, in that case, of that happens, the entire calculation will change drastically. Whatever we are trying to create for a rainy day will be overly taxed because politicians and economists could not do their job properly in the first place. In that economists have been tools for politicians for the longest of times as I personally see it and they need to be taxed (read: fined) for all their failures between 2003 and 2017. Let’s make those losses part of the requirement to address, shall we?

I wonder how many of these 50 autographs will suddenly vanish (read: get retracted) when we see them held to account for certain projects in real estate, energy and transportation endeavours, I am merely speculating here.

A ‘hidden’ statement at the top!

In the current setting of budget and taxation, please explain to me how ‘Quadrupling the current EU budget to 4% of GDP would raise about €800bn‘, how does upping the budget 4 times over (including the gravy train I reckon) help raising cash? Is he hiding behind ‘spend a little to get a lot‘? Is the $3 trillion QE bond buying fiasco not enough of a train wreck at present?

In the article we are also given a gem. It is Guntram Wolff who questioned the need for a continent-wide project. “If the cross-border transfer element is only 0.1%, why do the whole thing at EU level?” he asked. That is indeed a very good question. I personally see this as some EU fuelled stage where we suddenly see the report being used as a QE prolongation project. We can see part of this point of view in the Economist where we see (at https://www.economist.com/finance-and-economics/2018/12/08/quantitative-easing-draws-to-a-close-despite-a-faltering-economy): “an extension to its targeted long-term repo operations, which offer banks cheap funding in return for lending to households and firms. That would benefit Italian banks most. They are heavy users of the scheme and the stand-off with Brussels has pushed up their borrowing costs. But to help them would be to ease the market pressure on Italy that might otherwise encourage fiscal rectitude. The agony of setting monetary policy only gets worse when politics comes into play.” In addition there was Seeking Alpha, who gave us last week: “Forward Guidance and Reinvestment Policy will then take QE’s place“, you say potato, and I say tomato. From my point of view it is not merely the application to move coins from the trouser pocket to the vest pocket, it is (as I personally see it), to move coins on their suits, in whatever pocket the can to present some level of status quo, a status that has been non-realistic for the longest of times.

So my simple solution, to merely add 1% and 2% to the middle class (and thus the upper class getting both as well optionally with a mere 1% added, gives us the option on national levels to finally do something about these crushing debts. the entire Thomas Piketty and his 50 abacus users report is not merely over the top, it is (as I personally see it) some under the waterline agenda to make certain changes that will facilitate for corporations to a larger degree in the end, because if they pay 15% on one end, you better believe that they get 20% from somewhere else (it is the trouser and vest pocket strategy). In all this, the people having a decent house merely get an invoice with the ‘Pay within the next 30 days’ routine in the end which I find offensive here. In the same manner where I stated a decade ago (it could have been 15 years) that from the very beginning, making ecommerce businesses tax accountable at the place of delivery (the buying consumer) would have been fair to all shops and merchants, none of that happened and in the end shops can no longer compete and close down. Crushed between cheap online competition and ego tripping landlords (the second most of all), we see that continuance is not an option and this links to the EU, as it is trying to prolong a system that is not merely unfair, it cannot be maintained in its current form. More taxation is not the option, it never was, holding politicians accountable to the expenditure and unbalanced tax laws that they allow for is a much larger weight on one side of the seesaw and that is drowning the economic status of all.

And consider merely one side, a mere example from the recent past. Bloomberg gave us “Apple is leasing about 500,000 square feet (46,451 square meters) of office space at the new headquarters, and plans to move 1,400 employees there. Bloomberg News reported last year that the building’s developers were on course to achieve less than half of their original return target as costs rose and wider economic uncertainty damps demand for the most expensive homes.” I do not mind that Apple moves, that they look good and prestigious, it is their right. Yet now consider the part: “Apple’s new UK headquarters will be part of a £14 billion redevelopment at Battersea Power Station“, as well as “it will take up around 40% of the office space in the old power station“. So 40% of the office space of a £14 billion project? How much tax exemption will they get there? Looking good through non taxability is nice, but that is all it is, nice, it should not allow for tax exemption. And if that makes them decide to move somewhere else, that is fine too. Consider that social housing got cut in that building so in 2017 we went from: “Battersea Power Station is determined to deliver 15% affordable homes, equating to 636 homes“, to “they slashed the number of affordable flats to just 386, a 40% reduction from original plans“, by taxing these options, we will ensure in many places that these so called milking investors take a step back and consider what should be allowed. This example is in the UK, yet there are examples all over Europe, interesting how that part is not highlighted, even as it is optionally part of the ‘taxing corporations’ event, what they lose on one side, they gain in the other. It is seemingly in opposition with Germany where we see ‘Hamburg to seize commercial property to house migrants‘, I use the word seemingly as I have not seen enough data to see whether I merely saw one side of the coin, that part is important too, yet I have seen in Sweden that there are tensions as well as a much better situation than the UK had, so there is space for improvement all over the EU (and the UK mind you), this all adds to the tensions as housing is the number one requirement and keeping that cost down, as well as that value down gives rise to the decrease of hogging and hoarding rental apartments, giving a playing field that is much more level and gives a release of economic tension to the largest European population and as that tension goes down, it will decrease other tensions as well. It does not solve the entire non-budgeting ability to 27 EU nations and as such it is not really part of this, but it is a strong covariant towards economic living of the entire EU population, that is very much a factor here. It does take care of division, disenchantment, and inequality to some degree. That we consider right-wing populism is pushed though the vision of an unfair and unacceptable gravy train and can be addressed by taking that train out of commission (well at least 85% that is). In the end I think that the mention of ‘the EU’s so-called democratic deficit‘, we could consider making nepotism prosecutable with an added lifelong ban on ever returning to any political post, EU or national. Did I oversimplify the problem for Thomas Piketty?

You tell me, and when you think I am wrong, that is perfectly fine, consider Alain Juppé, and Jacques Santer. Consider how people have been made redundant and end up not having any options, yet these people have a shielding umbrella that allows for the return to high yielding governmental incomes.

There is a lot wrong in several ways in all this and it makes me growl (in a rabid way mind you), even as we realise when we try to tackle inequality, we need to take heed from the entire FIFA matter in more than one way and these failings have been ignored (as far as I can tell) by this so called ‘bold new blueprint‘, the stage of mismanagement issues, non-transparency (especially in the ECB) and a whole range of options not cleared before they all start looking for ways to tax more and keep one of the most inefficient logistic systems in the history of the world (as I personally see it) in place. You cannot win more by charging more, not until you fixed your internal accountancy department, should you doubt that, look at Tesco and the Danske Bank and Deutsche Bank, with the acclaimed €200bn dirty money scandal, especially as this is commented on with: “it remains to be seen if any individuals will face justice for the biggest money-laundering scandal in EU history” by the EU Observer (November 29th).

Taxing the rich? Rickety Pickety, you have much larger issues to address before you should be allowed to make a play for those who worked hard towards their homes and retirement, as in the end, that is wwhere this invoice ends up as I personally see it.

Have a great Monday!

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Finance, Law, Media, Politics

Smite the analysts

It is time to change the game. It is time to do a lot more than merely claiming to do something about fake news. I never claimed to bring the news, I have merely been in the process of nitpicking it as much as possible and the Guardian got my feathers plenty ruffled this morning, so it is time for me to be a little speculative of the matter.

We love our idiot products at time; it is something to laugh at or something to make a joke about; for the most harmless fun. Yet today something snapped. It might have been the abuse that Theresa May has been receiving, it might have been watching some poor sod holding a ‘We’re poorer without EU‘ sign, whilst like me that person is unlikely to have any economic degrees.

So when I see: ‘Theresa May’s Brexit deal could cost UK £100bn over a decade‘ by Richard Partington (at https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/nov/26/theresa-mays-brexit-deal-could-cost-uk-100bn-over-a-decade).

I hereby make my first demand (do not worry, no one will listen anyway).

In regards to: ‘People’s Vote-commissioned study says loss is equivalent to annual output of Wales‘, I DEMAND a full disclosure of the names of the people involved as well as a clear documentation of all sources used. this includes the names of those in the ‘People’s vote’ those who commissioned the study, the price paid for the study, as well as the names of those who made that report (not just the three who wrote it), the data sources used as well as how the report was set to the data and its results. I expect to find a dozen flaws in the very least. In this case any arbitrary choice (which at times is perfectly valid), should be seen as a flaw, unless clearly stated as such.

It is time to hold these people up to the limelight exposing what the Guardian (and many other newspapers) are giving voice to as being ‘the facts’. I would like to go as far as prosecuting (to some extent) the makers of these loaded and dubious reports by banning those names from any governmental research for life! When that happens, we will get all kinds of excuses and well phrased words or denial. Yet, I feel that we have come to a point where these activities can no longer be tolerated. Not by any government and not by any organisation with political aspirations, or connections.

The reality here is that the UK will lose income, lost funds and lose options for the short term. This has always been known. We always knew that things would get a little worse. Yet NOONE is making any call on the waste of three trillion euro’s by the ECB on their Quantative Easing and the waste of now close to three trillion that the taxpayer has to pay back, whilst people like Mario Draghi walk away with a ton of money, a member of an elite banking group of 20 and no accountability to anyone. The media refused to hammer on the ECB on any of it and the lack of clarity and transparency that the ECB has. This happened in full view whilst they all had 50+ articles on the death of a journalist no one really cared about (aka Jamal Khashoggi).

My larger concern is seen in: “Garry Young, the director of macroeconomic modelling and forecasting at NIESR, said: “Leaving the EU will make it more costly for the UK to trade with a large market on our doorstep and inevitably will have economic costs.” The NIESR report found May’s deal would not be as damaging for the economy as Britain leaving the EU without an agreement, which would cost the economy about £140bn over the next 10 years.” From my personal point of view, these people are in it for themselves, most of them are. Even as I will immediately admit that this report looks actually valid and good, issues come forward to a degree that might not have been seen at the beginning of it all, yet the scrutiny after the report is also lacking making the issue larger. What some call ‘lucrative European contracts’, we see a lack of investigation on both sides of the isle in all this, because as a Brexiteer, I will never deny a Bremainer to voice their opinion, or their opposition to it all. It is the acceptance of democracy that demands it from within me. The UK has not really profited from the EU, merely large corporations have and that is actually the biggest issue with the entire EU at present. When we look at the 68 million consumers, many of them have not been able to afford any of it. The bulk of all of us are dependent on moments like Black Friday to get the hardware we normally cannot get. It is a known issue that the quality of life is still low all over the UK and in many other places. The only true beneficiaries of the entire EU setting are the large corporations. The local grocer sees no real benefit, whilst the large supermarkets have all these deductibles that for the larger extent benefit its board members, not the customers. People like Gary Young are eager to make mention of ”inevitably will have economic costs“, which is a truth; I and many realistic others do not deny it. Yet in equal measure we can move away from a multi trillion bond buying scheme that has done nothing for the people whilst making the banks fat and rich. Never before in the history of mankind did the banks and Wall Street have such a large hold on governments and its citizens and we sat down and let it happen. Brexit is for the UK the first step to undo that damage and it will take time, we all get that. So as we realise that the ECB failure, in part to unmanaged ‘freedoms’, lack of transparency and accountability has greatly impacted the UK, at that point will we realise that there is a weighted and loaded stage against all of us, in every EU nation. The second part in all this is what some call: ‘the EU gravy train’, I have made mention of it on a few occasions and the lack of actions in that regard is close to sickening. Even The Times gave us some time ago: “MEPs are clinging on to lavish, tax-free handouts for travel despite publicly pledging to repay them, according to an internal report by the European Parliament. They have kept an estimated €6million (£4 million) after promising before the 2004 elections not to claim the money. “They get exposed, promise to be modest and then keep riding the gravy train. It is appalling,” said Hans-Peter Martin, an Austrian MEP, who has led a campaign against abuse of expenses. The €60 million-a-year travel allowance system is so generous that many MEPs admit it amounts to legalised embezzlement of taxpayers’ money. MEPs are paid a first-class air fare for travel to the parliament, even if they use budget airlines. They make an average of £20,000 a year tax free“. We can agree that in that meantime something was done, yet how much was done? The taxpayers have to come up with 751 times £20,000, giving us a total of fifteen million pounds and that is only the travel item every year, one of a lot more items, so how much extra are these people getting? The simple fact that many of these issues have not been adjusted for over 12 years is a clear stage that the EU is the goose for exploiting extra income and benefits, something taxpayers never signed up for in the first place. Even now (8 weeks ago) we see: ‘Details of MEPs’ €4,416-a-month expenses to remain secret, court rules‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/sep/25/mep-expenses-eu-court-ruling) with in addition: “MEPs are also refunded first-class travel expenses and get a €313 daily allowance for hotel and living costs when working in Brussels and Strasbourg“, which in the most optional stage grants them an additional £60K each, adding fuel amounting to £46,562,000 to the tax payers fire. I think I have made my point, did I not?

When Brexit is done and we start seeing the impact, I predict it will be less than 2 years before the complaining starts, not from the UK, but from the other nations that now have to pay for the part that the UK will no longer be paying for and that is the ballgame here. When that happens, and it will we will see a rejuvenation by both France and Italy wanting to get out as fast as possible leaving merely Germany as the large economy to carry the weight of the EU and they will not be able to do this and it will all collapse. That is not a speculation; it is a certainty as I see it. It will only need one of those three to join the leave team and it will already fail. In light of all that is happening it seems to me that Italy is now the frontrunner before France, yet that might be what the horse lover calls a nose length photo finish. It was almost two weeks ago when French Marine Le Pen gives us almost the same view in the Daily Herald with: “French far-right leader Marine Le Pen is blaming the policies of the European Union for Britain’s exit from the bloc. “If the EU wasn’t what it is now, the United Kingdom would still have been a member of a structure that respects the nations, the people, that doesn’t impose migration polices and deals that have very heavy consequences on our industries and agriculture,” Le Pen said Friday at a news conference in the Bulgarian capital, Sofia.” It was for the most what pushed me into the Brexit field a few years ago; even as Mark Carney, Governor of the British Bank and his presentation in the House of Lords gave me reason to doubt that, the acts of stupidity by Mario Draghi and the ECB pushed me straight into the Brexit field, supporting Brexit. A situation that had been known for years, yet in light of 751 beneficiaries nothing was done to keep tabs on it and Brexit become a fact.

So as we accept the setting (via many sources) that Marine Le Pen is giving through “the EU wants to punish Britain by imposing “conditions that are unacceptable to a large majority of the people in the U.K. and to members of the British government.”“, we have seen several parts of that in the media. Is it not interesting how infantile the EU gets when you do not want to be a member? They threatened Greece to throw them out, whilst there was no legal option for the EU, and they demand the impossible from those wanting to leave. In that setting, who wants to remain a member? I would go with the speculation that the EU is for: ‘those who needs the power of exploitation‘.

It is getting worse

In this we look back at Greece. Some might remember the big boast that Greece made. I mentioned it in my blog: ‘They are still lying to us‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2018/06/23/they-are-still-lying-to-us/), so when we were treated on June 23rd to ‘Greece ‘turning a page’ as Eurozone agrees deal to end financial crisis‘. Here Alexis Tsipras was happy to be quoted with: “Greece is once again becoming a normal country, regaining its political and financial independence”, we saw none of the EU reservations in a claim that was off by decades. I also commented in favour of the Greek opposition shown by Kostis Hatzidakis with: “The opposing party reacted to the credit buffer with ‘Kostis Hatzidakis said it reflected the lack of faith international creditors had in Athens’ ability to successfully return to capital markets.‘ And in this Kostis is right, the international markets have zero faith in their return, they rely on a small thing called mathematics and the clarity there is that the scales are not in the favour of the Greeks.” Now we see a mere four days ago ‘How Greece Is Scrambling to Save Its Banks — Again‘, the EU has become this short sighted, this convoluted in misrepresenting the facts to the people. So as we see: “Greece is scrambling to figure out how to save its banks — again. Burdened by bad loans that make up almost half of total lending, crippled banks remain one of the biggest hurdles to Greece’s economic recovery. There are even worries that the country may face yet another financial crisis if it can’t dislodge its lenders from their downward spiral. With bank shares tumbling, the government and the Bank of Greece are working on plans to help banks speed up efforts to shed soured loans” and this comes one day after: ‘EU: Greece has Not Implemented 16 Bailout Program Prerequisites‘, which we get from the Greek Reporter. We see: “The European Commission is urging Greece to proceed with 16 prerequisites that have to be completed by the end of the year, as agreed with creditors. The first report after the end of the bailout program in August that was released on Wednesday says that Greece is delaying to implement 16 important measures and reforms. Among them are the staffing of the independent public revenue authority, the repayment of overdue debts, the legislative framework for resolving the problem of non-performing loans and the development of the new primary health care system“, the article by Philip Chrysopoulos also gives us “Despite the fact that Greece’s 2019 budget meets the target of a primary surplus of 3.5 percent of GDP” will see a speculative setback (speculated by me) by close to 2% at the very least, in what will likely be a wave of managed bad news. The EU is now that useless and pushing down all the other European players. If only the EU legal setting had allowed for removing Greece from the Euro setting and EU economy settings in 2014, a lot of the issues (like Brexit) would never have been an issue. It is in my personal view greed driven EU stupidity that allowed for this. A blind faith in Status Quo that pushed the need of large corporations and that might become the downfall of the EU as a whole.

Do you still think that the EU is better for the EU economy? First Greece and now Italy are becoming the weights drowning the EU. Merely one hour ago, the BBC reported that: “Italy’s government says it will stick to its high-spending budget plans, setting up a potential stand-off with the European Union over its deficit.“, are you actually believing in fairy tales when you think that this will not hit back on the rest of the EU? Even as the Independent reported 13 hours ago: “The pound fell 0.19 per cent to €1.1284 off the back of reports that Italy is headed for a breakthrough with its budget, which would bring to an end weeks of wrangling between the EU and the Italian government.” we now get the reality that there was no breakthrough, we merely see more of the same and the impact of Italy is not immediately reversing and upping the pound against the Euro is it? In light of the revelation, the pound should be up by no less than 0.27 percent against the Euro (the gain and the 0.19 percent loss), we will not see that will we (or we will see it as late as possible so that the 0.27 percent can be largely minimalized. When you realise that the UK is getting unfairly hammered to this extent, would you want to be part of that group? And when (not if) the UK shows the improvements making the UK economy better, what excuses will the EU, ECB, IMF and Wall Street give the people of Britain?

To be part of any exploitative regime as the EU is starting to show it in a few ways. The evidence of this statement was shown by the Clean Clothes Campaign last June when we see (at https://cleanclothes.org/news/2018/06/11/complaint-lodged-against-the-european-commission-for-failing-to-uphold-fundamental-human-rights-in-trade-policy) ‘Complaint lodged against the European Commission for failing to uphold fundamental human rights in trade policy‘. Here we see: “Bangladesh has committed serious and systematic violations of fundamental workers’ rights. Conditions are unsafe for millions of workers in Bangladesh. Additionally, the labour laws of Bangladesh create significant obstacles to the exercise of the right to freedom of association, to organise and to bargain collectively. Further, the government has not effectively enforced even these flawed laws, and workers complaints to authorities are routinely ignored. Without bargaining power or legal recourse, workers have been forced to live in extreme poverty.” and when we realise that the lack of activities, naming and shaming those who are part of it all, whilst the EU remains inactive to a much larger extent, my case of large corporations being in charge of those acting in the EU parliament is close to well made, tailor made one could state. The lack of visibility given in the EU and the oversight on what is imported into the EU from Bangladesh is frightening. The Dutch CBS reported 3 weeks ago: “The average import price per vest exceeds 3 euros in 2018. With an import price of around 2 euros, vests manufactured in Bangladesh are considerably cheaper. Prices of vests from China (approx. 2.50 euros) are also lower than average, while vests from India were average-priced (around 5 euros) and those from Turkey more expensive than average (around 5 euros).” good luck trying to convince me that this is not about money and that there is a proper investigation into the Bangladesh situation. The fact that even China cannot match these prices is partially evidence enough. The fact that manufacture owners in Bangladesh are part of the 250% plus stage that we see with: “This is the largest quantity ever recorded and approximately 2.5 times more than in 1998“, the lack of questions by those gravy train people is just a little too weird and more questions are not coming forward. That is the European Union that its members seem to like and letting the UK out is also not an option. The analysts are merely the first circle we should go after (the first of several mind you). Any report that is not clearly documented with the names of all the people involved in this should immediately be disregarded and kept on record for prosecution and smiting afterwards (when those reports are proven to be incorrect) at that point I wonder how many studies we will get that are so overwhelmingly negative. And it is not merely the analysts. The names of the people commissioning for the report and the clear definition of the question that was asked will also be set to scrutiny. I wonder how many politicians and corporate figures will suddenly run for cover and darkness like a group of cockroaches.

Feel free to disagree or even oppose my view. Yet also remember, I merely want to see the names and all data on those so called ‘commissioned studies’. Is that such a bad question? When we are given the results, should we not wonder HOW they got there? Is that not a duty we all should have?

When we look at The National Institute of Economic and Social Research, we see a clear stage of names, Arno Hantzsche, Amit Kara and Garry Young (which is a proper thing, mindyou). We also see on page 7 and 8: “The Governor of the Bank of England estimated that by May 2018, UK household income was 4 per cent lower than it would otherwise have been as a consequence of the referendum (Carney, 2018): “one third of the 4 per cent shortfall in real wages reflects stronger-than-projected inflation, which is almost entirely accounted for by the referendum-related fall in sterling. The remainder reflects weaker-than-expected nominal wages, the majority of which can be accounted for by weaker-than-anticipated productivity growth“, which should not be disregarded.

Am I opposing my own view?

No, when you see the charts in that page, we see the UK not being in a good place. Yet considering ‘UK economic growth relative to other G7‘ and ‘UK inflation relative to other G7‘, the UK situation would not look great whilst this is staged up to 2018, and now we get the good part. The G7 are Canada, France, U.S, U.K, Germany, Japan and Italy. Now consider the Italian part dragging down due to the stupidity of their budget decision (which might be seen as their right). In addition the Greek issue will drag down the EU as a whole and the USA is in a trade war that will also impact the USA, all parts seemingly not taken into account and suddenly the UK already looks a lot better in all this. Now, we cannot completely fault the report called ‘The economic effects of the government’s proposed Brexit deal‘, yet there is already a non-negative impact for the UK (it is a stretch calling it a positive effect). In addition we see properly placed “We have assumed” in the proper places and only thrice, which is also a good thing and for the most utterly unavoidable. We also see in one place: ‘Sterling effective exchange rate (January 2005=100)‘, which is possibly merely arbitrary, from my personal view the fact that 2008 and 2016 have impacted it all might also be a stage where the UK had more hardship than before and as such the three stages should have been included. My final issue is on page 15; I do not doubt the numbers or the statement perse. Yet when we consider “Ramasamy and Yeung (2010) find that openness to trade benefits in particular FDI inflows to services sectors, much more than to manufacturing. Ebell and Warren (2016) survey the empirical literature and calculate that reverting to trade under trade arrangements similar to those between the EU and Norway would reduce FDI into the UK by 8–11 per cent, and by 11–23 per cent under a Switzerland-type relationship” that openness of trade also implies the open acceptance of the unacceptable ethical stage that Bangladesh is showing to be, we need to ask the tougher questions on EU inactions to the degrees currently seen. You see, when we accept one part, we need to accept that all these sweatshop articles are out of bounds. They are merely emotional banter pressed on those trying to meet budgets, there is no humanity left, we should not allow for that. In this way my statement is harsh, yet that is what the EU has become, a harsh proposer of status quo at the expense of whatever is coming next. If you do not agree, feel free to ban all Bangladesh T-shirts, leaving others with 215 million T-shirts to sell; was that example too direct?

Even when we accept the part of ‘how the deal affects uncertainty and confidence‘, which is a topic that will remain as there will always be uncertainty, the entire report is seemingly staged towards the bad side, whilst any improves economic marker from the second year onwards are basically ignored. We can argue that year one will have no upsides, yet the stage of no upsides in year two is lose to unimaginable. Apart from the ‘EU donation‘, which has been significant, the downturn of Italy and Greece that will no longer impact the UK is clearly escalating and France is basically scared shitless of that part. France is so scared as it is in a much worse position than Germany currently is, who will also feel that impact to some extent.

No matter how this plays, it is a mess that will test the reality of a lot of people. My largest concern is not how good or how bad things get, it is the fake revelations by speculative analysts that are the impact of a lot of things and the moment when we see the managed bad news after the fact, we will also see the weakness that has become the EU, in light of an already weak USA, this merely strengthens the need for a segretative community (read: nationalistic approach to national issues). It is the one part where I see eye to eye with Marine le Pen: “the policies of the European Union as well as the lack of transparency and non-accountability” are the biggest drivers in this entire sordid affair.

I wonder how draconian the changes will become when others realise how correct my view of the matter was. I am less likely to facing the fact that I was wrong, there is too much documentation pleading for my view, especially as the Wall Street Journal reported “Greece’s Eurobank Ergasias SA said it will acquire real-estate company Grivalia Properties REIC, boosting its capital and paving the way for the creation of a “bad bank” to help deplete its pile of nonperforming loans” a mere 5 hours ago. So when exactly did the people ever benefit from a bad bank solution? We saw that in 2013 with the Dutch SNS and Reaal setting. So as Brussels treated us to: “The costs to the Dutch taxpayer were still substantial, resulting in a deterioration of the budget balance (excessive deficit procedure definition) for 2013 with 0.6% and an increase in EMU debt of 1.6%“, we see Greece doing the same 5 years later. As we look at the quote: “In fact, since the nationalization the Dutch press has regularly published pieces that show how the commercial real estate has been mismanaged for a substantial time period. Did this go unnoticed by the regulator? Why did it not intervene?” We now get to unite that part with the overwhelming inaction of the EU and the unacceptable actions of the ECB, so this will be a much larger thing that Greece is printing on the rest of the EU then the people are currently aware of and the impact will be felt much larger, the fact that the bulk of the EU states cannot keep a proper budget merely makes mathers worse (not a typo, it means ‘reaper of hay’), and now I am in a state of moments uncontrollable deriving laughter.

The lack of visibility to several parts (an issue I cannot blame the media for in this case) is just incomprehensible. In part this is due because there are so many elements interacting, yet the fact that the issues are not visible is still a matter of great concern, and also an additional reason to push for Brexit.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Finance, Media, Politics, Science

Annual medical bill $864,685

Yes, that is the price for keeping the doctor away. An Apple a day keeps the doctor away, yet at $2,369 per iPhone it will be a hefty bill, let me tell you that. And the news gets to be worse after that. Apple has been in the news and not in a good way. We all remember the big news earlier this year, when Apple announced that they had become the first trillion dollar company. It was just as the new Apple models had come to town and the impact has been seen. First we get the Financial Times 2 days ago with: ‘Apple falls into bear market territory‘ (at https://www.ft.com/content/c9dd38f0-e839-11e8-8a85-04b8afea6ea3). I thought it was merely metaphorically, yet it is not. You see, bear territory is when a company got into the state of: “The drop takes the stock’s decline from its intraday high of $233.47 on October 3 to 20.3 per cent, meeting the definition of a bear market“, the first corporation to surpass 1 trillion and lose 20% value soon thereafter. Apple did this t themselves in a few ways. It takes me to my dark Apple moment. Now do not get me wrong, I do not hate Apple, I still have the very first iPad and I will get the iPad Pro if my budget would ever allow for it, hopefully before my iPad passes away.

I bought an Mac Book Pro in 2005, I loved it and it set me back $5099, it was all I had and it after 11 months I had one line in my screen, then 3 then I went to the Apple store and I realised that my warranty had past. Two weeks later the screen was no longer usable, $5099 and nothing to show for it. When it ran it ran great, so for 11 months I never regretted buying it, and then the onslaught came. I was not happy, the $5099 was all I had, so there was nothing left for the Apple care and after 6 months I had forgotten to get it, it is my own fault, yet the longevity of Apple (lack thereof) will never be forgotten. The opposite is also true, my G5 and first iPad as well as an iPod Classic are still doing their stuff. So overall there is more good than bad. The previous parts I mentioned matter, as you are about to find out. Forbes, who also on last Thursday gives us (at https://www.forbes.com/sites/gordonkelly/2018/11/15/apple-new-iphone-xs-max-xr-upgrade-price-cost-camera-sales-face-id/#78e1e0302932): ‘Apple’s new iPhones have a Serious Problem‘. Here we see: “AMS revised its Q4 2018 revenue estimates down from highs of $610M to new lows of $480 citing “recent demand changes from a major consumer customer.” AMS is the latest in a string of iPhone suppliers to announce revenue cutbacks“. The setting here is not merely the suppliers; we see ““Many suppliers have lowered numbers because of their unnamed ‘largest customer,’ which is Apple,” Elazar Capital analyst Chaim Siegel told Reuters“. This shows that the shareholders could optionally panic before the end of the year and it will be an additional downturn for Apple, who is currently worth a mere $US886 billion, in addition the second wave might lower it to somewhere between $794-$811 billion, making Q4 2018 one of the worst moments in Apple history, lowering its value by almost 30%. So if 20% is bear territory, will passing the 30% make it the Groundhog tree stump area? #JustAsking

Yet all is not lost, there is still last moment Black Friday, Thanksgiving, Saint Nicholas (Belgium and Netherlands), and Christmas. It will mean a massive level of facilitation (by Apple mind you), but there is space for a partial turnaround and it was their own doing, this economy is not ready for upper class latest techno prices. Consider the $2365, whilst their opponent is offering a decently close solution for $1499 (Google) and $1599 (Huawei) all top end phones and the next model is 33% cheaper, in an economy where most people are turning around pennies (just look at Debenhams). It was a really bad market moment; one could argue that Apple believed their marketing whilst it was nowhere near realistic. In addition we see (at https://www.macrumors.com/2018/11/16/new-ipad-pro-bend-test/) ‘New iPad Pro Models May Be Prone to Bending‘, the image is very expressive on the curve, which might be moving towards boomerang shape over time (just guessing here). The quote “both forum complaints and a new bend test video suggest the two devices have the potential to bend without a huge amount of force“, gives us that the news is already out there, which gets us the Achilles heel of any corporation that is ruled by marketing deadlines. It is the proper testing of last minute changes. You see, if that was not done it implies that proper testing was never done and that is a lot worse at present for Apple. As the new iPad Pro could set you back $2689 that issue is a lot more important than you think. MacRumors also gives us: “Despite the video and the forum complaint, this does not appear to be a widespread issue. There are a couple of other complaints from MacRumors readers who were seeing slight curves in their devices and received replacements or sent the tablet back, but there aren’t complaints that match the complaints we saw back in 2014 with the original iPhone 6 Plus bendgate“, which should be noted too, just be certain (as it counts for me too) to keep an eye on it, and even as a prospective Apple marketeer gives us: ‘Apple released their folding display before Samsung 😉‘, we need to be certain that any gospel truth involving Apple, just in case it is still partially owned by Microsoft.

For Apple things are escalating in a few ways. First there is ‘Apple admits iPhone X ‘ghost touch’ screen issue, offers free repair‘, which we got form the Sydney Morning Herald last week (at https://www.smh.com.au/technology/apple-admits-iphone-x-ghost-touch-screen-issue-offers-free-repair-20181112-p50ffl.html), yet Apple did respond with: “Apple has announced that it has found issues affecting some of its iPhone X and 13-inch MacBook Pro products, and said the company would fix them free of charge“, which is good, but it is water under the bridge, the damage is optionally already done. The question rotates around the core of properly testing issues before the audience gets them.The issue gets worse when we see: “For the 13-inch MacBook Pro, it said an issue may result in data loss and failure of the storage drive“, no matter how repairs go, the entire matter of data loss is a nightmare for many people, the idea that a days work is lost for whatever reason is a massive push to look elsewhere for a solution and that will hurt Apple down the track as well. The battery issue has put a dent in faith in Apple with many people and the keyboard issue in the Macbook and Macbook Pro models only make matters worse, so as the list is added to the media and as the media gives more and more light to it all, Apple might be in extremely rough seas this coming January. A setting that proper testing might have avoided to a greater extent. If this was not enough, CNBC adds fuel to the fire two days ago with ‘I tested the new iPad Pro and it still can’t replace my laptop like Apple says it can‘. The article (at https://www.cnbc.com/2018/11/15/apple-ipad-pro-review.html) also gives us: “I’ve been testing the iPad for the past several days, and while it’s a very nice tablet, it’s still not capable of replacing my regular laptop. In fact, most people should probably just buy a Mac, or Apple’s cheaper $329 regular iPad“. I saw it in the store myself and the new Apple Smart Keyboard is a game changer, which is not available for the normal iPad. He might have a point to some degree, especially when we have to shell out a difference of $1200 at least. The only core issue is that the graphic part of the Pro is close to 300% faster than the not pro, so that is still a consideration to take in a graphic tablet life, but beyond that his view is harsh and optionally not wrong. I found the review of Todd Haselton extremely genuine, especially when he gives us: “The iPad Pro is great, but it isn’t for most people. Let me explain why“, he gives it the proper support, so it is a good part, yet it is also bad for Apple in another way, let’s go there together.

You see, the competition is never far behind and the device already available and several sources give it to us. In this case I selected ‘Huawei’s Matebook X Pro Is The MacBook Rival People Have Been Asking For‘ (at https://www.gizmodo.com.au/2018/11/huawei-matebook-x-pro-review/). Whilst we can look at Like Apple, Huawei starts with a solid aluminium body and then adds surprisingly powerful speakers to the sides, a big one-piece trackpad down below, and clever power button/fingerprint reader combo in the top left – and all of it is top notch. Then there’s Matebook X Pro’s backlit keyboard. While it is a bit on the shallow side, the keyboard’s relatively high actuation weight and deeper key travel feels vastly superior to the garbage you get on modern MacBooks” from more than one direction, it is the setting that gives is weight (as well as the keys I reckon). We also get two more interesting parts. The first is “the X Pro’s chin is equally thin too, resulting in a screen-to-body ratio of 91 per cent. That’s better than devices like the new XPS 13 (80.7 per cent) and the Galaxy S9 (83.6 per cent) by a fair margin“, as well as “Regardless of how shamelessly you think Huawei has copied Apple’s formula, it has absolutely improved on that template in a number of very important ways“. The second part is the most damning one. Apple had a good thing going and was willing to let marketing rule the ways, whilst improvements have been lacking (many users have made similar statements). When we see that the original has been improved upon and we see an equal in a field where they optionally did not belong, that is when the goose of Apple remains to be cooked (optionally for Christmas). With the final part “As of today we finally have Australian pricing and a release date for the Matebook X Pro, which is November 22, 2018. They start at $1,899 for the i5/8GB/256GB model and at $$2,599 for the i7/16GB/512GB model” we see the nightmare of Apple become a reality, not only is there an alternative available, as CNBC reflects on, we see that this alternative is out and it is with Huawei, which should upset Americans to no end. In addition that model comes with Windows 10 Pro Signature Edition, so you get the good stuff. Even as it is not a gaming PC, the optional Nvidia GeForce MX150 would enable you to truly enjoy places like Facebook in several ways and that is definitely an additional plus point all over the board. The battery was stated as good, not much beyond that, yet in light of the bank hey are bringing, we see that Huawei is optionally pushing into Apple territory and even as that is a really large field, the fact that Huawei moved into laptop space is something no one had really prepared for and that might be an issue over the next two months depending on how the Huawei Matebook X Pro is embraced by the audience, the fact that they are clearly on the radar should be regarded as an optional threat for Apple, they quite literally have a lot to lose at present.

There is also an IOS issue (and it goes way beyond IOS. hackers were able to exploit the JIT compiler flaw with a malicious access point, which Apple is expected to have patched in an upcoming iOS 12 update. This is always going to happen, we get that as an issue by itself it is not a biggie (or at least it is optionally not a biggie). When we see “An iOS 12 Security Flaw Allows Access to Deleted Photos on iPhone“, so OK, it is an issue and it will be fixed, in the worst case if you take photos of your wife/girlfriend you will just have to refrain from deleting them until the patch is out. It becomes a little more of an issue as the Mirror reported (at https://www.mirror.co.uk/tech/iphone-x-explodes-during-ios-13593046). The article ‘iPhone X EXPLODES during iOS 12.1 update – and Apple’s response is laughable‘. The article itself gives us: “@Apple iPhone X just got hot and exploded in the process of upgrading to 12.1 IOS. What’s going on here???“, yes it was done over twitter and the response: “That’s definitely not expected behaviour. DM us, so we can look into this with you” was indeed funny, yet not incorrect. Twitter is limited in the response usage, so it was an acceptable answer in all this. The article was not that great, but there is optionally another issue and whether this is a mere IOS 12.1 flaw, or a larger issue is unknown, leave it to the Mirror to not properly look into this and let emotions rise via responses on a mere Twitter setting and few words. The responses were exactly the ones we should expect to see and not worthy of repeating other than ‘And this deserved an article devoted to it?‘ This is acceptable and fair enough, yet the issue behind it is larger. You see if this is the update that is supposed to deal with the JIT compiler flaw; the update could optionally merely be making matters worse. The grand total is negative for Apple as a multitude of issues on devices and drop of value, as well as intensely lowered sales at present shows that Apple is in a not so good place. We cannot tell for certain because the end of year is 6 weeks away and a lot could optionally be repaired by then, yet the fact that there is a list of issues spanning the range of Apple models is not the greatest place to be in at present and proper testing could have prevented a lot of the issues involved before they happened, which leaves us to the setting: ‘Has Apple become too complacent in all this?

It is important because it only means that whatever comes out in the next 6 months could be as messy as anything they have released in the last year and it has not been a great year for Apple technologically speaking, and now that they have both Google and Huawei nipping at their heels on several fields could be a decent sign that there are more issues on the horizon making their shareholders even more nervous than in the previous 4 years altogether, so that too is likely to impact the total value of Apple over the coming quarter, they will survive, no doubt about that, yet it might be a while until they get to that 1 trillion mark again.

 

 

1 Comment

Filed under Finance, IT, Media, Science

That crazy thought

Crazy thoughts, we all have them at times, we all think them, we all wonder the ‘What if’ question whether it is valid or not. So when the news hit, among them the line ‘The $6 trillion wipeout in Asian stocks is getting deeper‘ (source: Sydney Morning Herald). I was not contemplating the quote: “Just like that, the region’s equity benchmark erased weekly gains and is now heading for a sixth slide in seven weeks, only worsening the wipeout that already erased $US4.3 trillion ($5.95 trillion) of market value this year“. So there I was looking at that quote, as well as the quote “One thing that might be worth keeping an eye on is data around China’s consumption — car sales fell for a fifth month and and Ctrip.com International joined the likes of Baidu and Alibaba Group Holding in being unable to avoid the economic slowdown. Also throwing cold water on the recovery is the US dollar, which resumed its appreciation as the Federal Reserve signaled it’s still ready to increase rates in December. The strong greenback has been a key concern for investors in the region, as its weakened local currencies and triggered massive outflows from emerging-market assets“. You see, I believe that none of this matters, the excuses like ‘consumer prices steadied amid sluggish demand‘. I went into the ‘What if this was always meant to happen?‘ mode. It is my personal belief that we have been sitting still whilst analysts have been inflating prognoses of economy, whilst they were all humming; it is a bright and sunny day, whilst it was not. We get excited when USA Today gave us ‘Economy adds robust 250,000 jobs in October in last employment report before election‘ on November 2nd. Yet this is news that was merely overdue and way too late. The world has been at a stand still for the longest of times. Millions of US citizens are still overcoming a decade of hardship, many of them lost the bulk of their retirement funds and it will take half a decade of really good news to turn this around. Too many have felt the pain and it is the same all over Asia. We might see news last month with ‘India adds 7,300 new millionaires’ thinking that hard times are over, yet this merely shows the stage where 7,300 clever Indians are getting other Indians doing their bidding, the millions behind those 7,300 people are not in a much better place, they have not been for the longest of times. Those 7,300 will be the foundation of a dozen or perhaps two dozen billionaire over time, yet like in any pyramid scheme, the profits go upwards, the foundation of that pyramid will not see a dime of that and we forget about that unbalanced setting. So as we are all in a stage of happy happy joy joy, the market is relentless in too much upbeat procrastinated prognoses and the market will seek equilibrium. No matter what excuse we see, what term we give to oil, what term we give to car users. The foundation is that every sold car is linked to a person buying it and from the current stage less than 25,000 were able to afford a new car, because the normal monthly expenses remain the same or go up, they never go down. So when we see ‘car sales fell for a fifth month‘, it makes perfect sense, you can up production all you like, yet when the people cannot afford to buy one, making more really makes no sense. That stage is clearly seen in Asia and Europe, in addition, the people in the US don’t have that much extra to spend, even with the new job, their living expenses had been through the roof for 2-3 years and they build either a buffer or go hungry and become homeless.

It all gets to have a hilarious side when you consider the Wall Street Journal (at https://www.wsj.com/articles/peter-navarro-blasts-china-and-wall-street-globalists-1541787254). We see “President Trump’s senior trade adviser, Peter Navarro, excoriated China and attacked Goldman Sachs and Wall Street as Beijing’s “unpaid foreign agents” who are weakening the U.S. leader before his meeting this month with China’s president“. It seems to me that Peter Navarro does not comprehend Goldman Sachs or Wall Street, so as an Australian I feel it is my duty (my entertaining duty mind you) to explain that part in a plain manner. ‘Mr Navarro, these two players Wall Street and Goldman Sachs do not give a fuck about you or your president, they never did! They only care about their bottom line, the annual growth, the profits they do make and their bonuses. It is that plain, and simple enough the board of directors in these two places care exponentially more about their bonus, nothing else matters!‘ I do hope that Peter Navarro comprehends that part, because it has never been different. The American people were sold down the drain in an instant in 2004 and 2008 and those people will do that again and again. It is not rocket science; it is transparent and extremely predictable. So when I see “As a summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping looms at the Group of 20 meeting in Buenos Aires, the economic council is coordinating what kind of trade deal the U.S. might accept from China. It is focusing on intellectual property, agricultural tariffs, forced technology transfer and requirements that U.S. firms form joint ventures to operate in China“, I see no mystery, I see no questions. It is merely the execution of the operational merit that profit brings to these 20 players that is on the table and the US is weaker than it has been ever before. A lot of the IP is not in American hands, the ones that matter are in the hands of IBM, Google and Intel and the US administrations have been able to piss all three off in more than one way, so good luck there. In addition, if the US exercises some ownership need, we will see both IBM and Google moving their IP all over the place making matters for the US worse.

Oh and this was all before we see the current US president in a stage where we see: “France on Saturday attempted to defuse a row sparked by President Emmanuel Macron’s comments about a European army which angered US President Donald Trump“, we can consider that passing of the few allies left is not really a good thing, is it? Especially in light where Marine Le Pen is currently more popular than Emmanuel Macron is the upcoming EU elections. The advantage is only one percent, yet we also see: “Far-right parties, including those supporting a French exit from the EU, secured a combined 30 percent of support“, that is way more than most EU nations are currently willing to be comfortable with. The fact that President Macron has agreed with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte to a union of En Marche, Dutch Liberals and Democrats is optionally one that could backfire in France to some degree and if Le Pen gets to the 40% mark a stage of Wall Street panic would be the consequence making the markets slip even further getting the overall losses to surpass eight trillion before the year ends. This stage becomes an even larger US nightmare as Matteo Salvini enters the stage, and he is siding largely with Marine Le Pen in all this, most likely purely for his own interests as would be expected in Lego Politics, but the impact is still there. This all impacts to a much larger degree as Italy has stated less than a day ago that they will not adjust the Italian budget which now puts the ECB and the EU in a much darker light, this budget could optionally impact the stage in a few European ways and the other nations will be reminded of the Greek tragedy when it overstated what they did not have, whilst we now see Italy not acknowledging the things they do not have, with a similar impact to several EU nations, the consequences could propel out of control and that too will impact greed driven Wall Street. This means that President Trump is going into a G20 meeting with three sets of balls and chains on their ankles, whilst China gets to point out these six balls and chains and remind him that this is partially all his doing (whether that is true or not).

So in the end, he sits in a meeting with little to use, nothing to go by and all merely because the previous 4 administrations all left control of the wealth reigns with Wall Street themselves, how was that ever going to work?

So that crazy thought is now going into the direction: ‘What if we remove the reigns of wall Street?‘ Would that be the craziest idea? In the end it is not going to happen, yet a first step is not the weirdest idea. It is time to take a very close look at those Wall Street analysts and their exectations, even if they ever correctly solve their rounding problem, the people still end up being confronted with a (what I personally would speculatively call) a 1.13% offset from any norm and that made all the differences for well over 12% of the companies ‘underperforming’ in the eyes of Wall Street. When we consider going back in time to 1874 when French economist Léon Walras decided to give ‘Elements of Pure Economics‘, he failed (as these settings did not exist) to give two elements a much larger consideration. The first is ‘behaviour of supply and demand‘, whilst not realising that governments have a required supply and demand and the corporations have a forecasted supply for the expected demand of an international community, which is weighted and rounded upwards sinking the notion of science towards anticipated presentations. So there we see three sets of numbers, all weighted and only after the fact shown as ‘due to unexpected factors‘ graded downwards after the fact giving us a few headaches all at the same time.

So as we see ‘adjusted’, ‘evolved’ and ‘expert driven’ algorithms towards forecasting the fact that there was something wrong with the formula’s in the first p[lace is not set into the stage of punitive prosecution ever. Meaning that these wipe-outs will happen again and again and the next time it hits a group of people that will revolt violently for being presented the invoice that others should have paid for, a stage that is unseen as many are in denial and often merely wiping the consideration away as non-relevant and unimportant. And the idea is not unique, my thoughts, my very own thoughts were proven correctly in 2013 by former Wall Street analyst Yves Smith in her book ‘ECONned‘ and she is not the only one, yet in the 5 years that followed, after all the evidence shown in several ways, the US Administration decided not to act, decided not to take control of the situation, even largely diffusing the danger was beyond them and now we see the stage where we see ‘weakening the U.S. leader before his meeting this month‘, in my personal view Peter Navarro needs to wake up and smell the coffee. He comes from an environment that did nothing for too long.

How crazy was that thought?

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Finance, Media, Politics, Science

The price of identity

We all have needs, we all have identities. It is important to us, as it is for many others. No one debates or disagrees with it. Yet what to do when identity hinders us? When we see the Washington Post (at https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/former-nsa-deputy-is-mattiss-leading-choice-to-head-the-spy-service-if-it-splits-from-cyber-command/2018/10/05/1be8d7a8-c73d-11e8-b2b5-79270f9cce17_story.html) giving us ‘Former NSA deputy is Mattis’s leading choice to head the spy service if it splits from Cyber Command‘, we need to consider the impact of identity, corporate identity, governmental identity, military identity, projected and presented identity. They are not the same and can vary to a much larger degree. When someone is part of what used to be referred to ‘No Such Agency‘. We will get the impact of identity; we all know that and many faced it too. Look at any friend or co-worker you have ever known and ask him/her about the impact of a merger and they will tell you, there are changes. Some are subtly, some are not noticed, yet others are, usually in infrastructure and the way things were done. Now the change tends to be for the good in the long run but that is not a given.

So what gives?

It is my personal observation and a highly speculative one at that. Yet I believe that the Washington Post giving us: “The current head of both organizations, Gen. Paul Nakasone, has urged Mattis to keep the NSA and U.S. Cyber Command under one leader on the grounds that the nine-year-old military organization is not ready to stand on its own, these people said. In recent weeks, Mattis was close to a decision to separate the leadership arrangement, but Nakasone’s counsel has caused him to reconsider, according to two U.S. officials. The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive internal deliberations“, is not entirely accurate. I believe that ‘military organization is not ready to stand on its own‘ is not the setting that matter. I believe that Stratfor who gives us ‘A New, More Aggressive U.S. Cybersecurity Policy Complements Traditional Methods‘ is very much at the heart of that. I believe that the general is not ready or perhaps unwilling to set the offensive and aggressive part in motion. Now, this is no bad reflection on the general, let that be a first. He is well decorated, he has seen the field in many ways and he has done a fair share of field events. He has earned his rank. I merely wonder that a man who has seemingly played a defence and protection game is the man for the offense. I think that this is a football moment, and as a non-football expert (and a 49ers fan) I would compare the General to DeMarcus Lawrence from the Dallas Cowboys against what the US seems to demand is a Derrick Henry (Tennessee Titans), or even a Tom Brady (New England Patriots), roles that are not really moveable. Even as a Quarterback might become a really good Derick Henry that Quarterback will never become a DeMarcus Lawrence. The defence and offense game is that far apart. This is where Chris Inglis comes in. He is an analyst (at heart), he is used to counter offensive strategies and introduce strategies of his own (effective one’s mind you). I believe that this is the game that is in the open at present and these two will need to find a way to make it work. Not merely because it is good for the needed strategy, but because the segregation of the two elements might hurt U.S. Cyber Command in a few ways, not merely funding, but the elements that U.S. Cyber Command currently have access to will partially fall away and getting two infrastructures like the NSA is unyielding, unaffordable and in the end will introduce flaws and dangers on both sides of the isle making the setting (as I personally see it) a non-option right of the bat. Stratfor gives us a few other items.

One of them is “A best-case scenario for a U.S. cyberattack would be disabling computer systems and networks being used against U.S. interests to prevent an attack from happening or to disrupt an attack that is in progress“. The problem there is that some of the opponents are getting to be really good at what they do and a few of them are not state driven, not by any state changing the dynamics of the solution. Even as I discussed the hop+1 strategy almost three years ago, settings like that require an expert layer one knowledge and the players cannot both have these experts changing the needs of the infrastructure overnight.

The second consideration is: “Perhaps the main challenge to U.S. engagement in tit-for-tat cyberattacks is that the United States is by far the biggest target for such attacks“. That might be true but that goes beyond mere true enemies, it includes a truckload of students wanting to finger the man (or is that giving them the bird)? Do they really want to waste resources to those people whilst the US has actual enemies in the world?

The larger issue is seen with: “Discussing the strategy, national security adviser John Bolton hinted that the administration had already taken steps to bolster offensive efforts in recent weeks, warning that the United States is no longer just playing defense when it comes to cybersecurity. But despite the Trump administration’s more hawkish tone regarding cybersecurity, it will continue mainly to rely on traditional measures such as the legal process, regulations and cooperation with the private sector when it comes to cybersecurity” It is here when we get the consideration of the resources required. The defence, offense and legal sides of it all becomes a real mess if the two split up giving the chance that targets and issues walk away on technicalities. How does that help?

The strategy s even more profound when we consider “Clandestine, discreet attacks are certainly already key elements of U.S. cyber tactics. There have likely been more examples of U.S.-launched attacks that have not come to light, perhaps because they were never recognized as cyberattacks. While the less known about U.S. cyber capabilities, the more effective they will be when deployed, this by definition limits the deterrence value of U.S. cyber capabilities“, at this point is the setting of ‘discreet’ that comes into play. With the two separated they will get into each other’s fare waters and more important give accidental light to the discreet part of the operation, there will be no avoiding it, only the most delusional person would think that it does not get out when more than one player is involved, because that will always introduce a third item being the intermediary, the cold war taught many players that part of the equation. And that is even before we get to the statement: “recent cases like the September indictment of North Korean cyber operatives, which displayed heavy FBI reliance on private security firms such as Mandiant and Alphabet to collect technical evidence and carry out investigations“, now we see the folly as Mandiant and Alphabet are mentioned, the entire matter grows further as soon as Constellis becomes part of the equation. That is beside the point of realising (highly speculative on my side) that neither three Mandiant, Alphabet and Constellis have the required safe servers in place to prevent names, places and facts from going out into the open. I might not be able to get in, but there are dozens who will get in and that voids the security of the matter to a much larger degree. For arguments sake I will leave Booz Allan Hamilton out of that equation, they have been snowed on long enough.

And even as we see the instance of legal preference, the US must realise that any attack from state or non-state parties in China or Russia has close to 0% of being successful (outside of the exposure part), the entire matter in case of the OPCW in the Netherlands is one. An attack was thwarted, yet was it THE attack? The guardian article (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/oct/04/visual-guide-how-dutch-intelligence-thwarted-a-russian-hacking-operation) reads nice, and we see all these facts and from my point of view, things do not add up. You see, I would have used the car that we see mentioned “In the boot of their car was uncovered an arsenal of specialist electronic Wi-Fi hacking equipment” as a fire and forget consumable, use it as an access point, segregating the hacker from the accessing unit. When you have (as they stated) “cash: €20,000 and $20,000” getting a second car far enough to access yet not be directly linked is seemingly easy enough. Then there is the setting of the photo at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport. I am not debating the issue of the photo, it seems genuine enough. In this operation they did not fly to Germany and took the train, or take a car and cross at Oldenzaal, Emerich, or even via Belgium and enter via Antwerp, or Eindhoven. It almost read like they wanted to get noticed. They know that Amsterdam Airport is high tech and nothing escapes their camera eyes. To me (a paranoid me) it comes across as ‘Where did they not want us to look‘. A mere sleight of hand deception, and again the entire GRU mention. A phone outside of that building and they had the taxi receipt? No one merely driving them to the airport in Russia or even them taking a bus from any hotel in Moscow. No a taxi receipt of all things, is anyone buying that? So in this it is not the Dutch, it is the Russian side that makes no sense at all.

How did I get there?

This is the initial setting of offense and defence. The proper application of strategy in all this matters, because we seem to undervalue and underestimate the need of either in all this. Because we get to push a button anywhere and anytime we seem to underestimate on what is recorded, what is collected and what can we verify. That entire mistake is how any offensive strategy can optionally become folly from the moment the instigation of ‘press any key‘ to start gets us. Proper offensive is not about doing what needs to be done, it is about being able to prove who did what. Perhaps Sony remembers that part as they were given that it was North Korea did something, whilst their computers were not even close to PC gaming ready, the mere processor, which was about 25% (at best) of a 1994 Silicon Graphics Indigo system is not the system that gives you what you need to hack the night away. The tools are equally as important as the access and ability to negate identity. When you see that part, the entire hop+1 intrusion path makes a lot more sense.

This now gets us to the end of the Washington Post, where we were treated to: ““As the build of the cyber mission force wraps up, we’re quickly shifting gears from force generation to sustainable readiness,” Nakasone said in a statement in May. “We must ensure we have the platforms, capabilities and authorities ready and available” to carry out successful cyber-offensives. Some former senior intelligence and defense officials oppose separating the “dual-hat” leadership arrangement, including former NSA Director Keith Alexander, former Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell and former Defense Secretary Robert Gates. This week, former CIA Director David Petraeus, a retired Army general, said during a Washington Post cyber summit that he’d keep the dual-hat arrangement “for the time being.”” It is not merely the ‘we have the platforms, capabilities and authorities ready and available‘, you see, when we get to capabilities we see the need of offensive players and even as Cyber command might be aces in their field, the offensive game differs to some degree and even as we see that they are way above the student levels, we get back to the Football equivalent you see the application of defence and offense. It is not DeMarcus Lawrence versus Derrick Henry, the question becomes can DeMarcus Lawrence be a Derrick Henry that is good enough, that is the battle within. The mere realisation that if you fail this when the offensive is broken into a train wreck that makes the limelight in every paper, that is the game that is the dilemma that Gen. Paul Nakasone faces as I personally see it.

And when we see Stratfor with the one little gem we did not consider, the mere proposed fact that North Korea has a mere 9,000 IP Addresses, do you really think that they could have done this all, or are we in a setting where someone had the ability to act on BGP hijacking and was able to mask it to the level it needed to be masked at, because that was the offensive play that needed to be considered and there was no way that the evidence had been uncovered to that degree with a backdoor could be removed with a simple reset of routers.

#FourtyNinersRule

 

Leave a comment

Filed under IT, Law, Media, Military, Politics, Science

That did not take long

Wow, it has been a mere 22 hours since my last Blog. In there I wrote: “The additional part where we see that Pakistan is importing close to $400 million from the Netherlands each year is optionally be getting hit as well“, which comes to pass when I see the flames on Twitter between Geert Wilders (https://twitter.com/geertwilderspvv) and the Pakistani Government (https://twitter.com/pid_gov). Even the the Pakistan Defense forum(https://twitter.com/defencedotpk), they immediately went to their copy of ‘Art of War‘ and gave us “Royal Dutch Shell, Phillips, Unilever, ABN AMRO interests in the Muslim World should be nationalised, levy heavy duties on Dutch shipping passing through the Suez, Hormoez shall be closed off for Dutch ships. Their airlines should be barred from using OIC airspace. Watch it melt!“, now a forum is not a government speakeasy, so there is time, but this riled up well over 100,000 Pakistani’s in all walks of life. Yet in here a few cool heads prevailed with: “Doesn’t matter to them, as it will hurt Pakistan itself, thousands will be unemployed, lakhs of people are working directly or indirectly in Unilever Pakistan, not even 0.1%profit generated from Pakistan, of total Unilever profits, even all oic countries ban it, it will hardly damage them“, yes it will hurt Pakistan, yet will it hurt enough? When Pakistani interests are moved from Unilever to European or American alternatives, do you think that the pain is long term? No, that is unlikely to be the case, yet the long term pain to Dutch industrials will be clear when they lost the ability to meet quota’s and to meet the expectations of analysts. That pain will be very visible. So even when we see the response by Geert Wilders with: “Don’t claim victory too soon @pid_gov I am not finished with you yet. I will expose your barbarism in many other ways“, we have to wonder if he is exposing barbarism or instigating discourse through attacks on Islam? That has always been the setting here. Perhaps we need to take another look at the setting, which started as early as 2015. I implied it in my title ‘Lollies to the Right‘ (Yesterday’s blog), in this lollies is an English slang for money. Someone is funding all this. The Cartoon competition shows another side, from the $12,500 in Garland Texas, and the amount (unknown) for the Dutch event. This is not from the pocket of Geert Wilders, someone is funding these fumes hoping that a war will erupt and we need to find out who is behind the screens on the far right, it is more important then you know. It is not merely about the hatred, the setting of economic strike backs was always going to be a clear setting. And I was right all along. We now see in the Daily Pakistan: ‘Dutch govt seeks improved bilateral ties with Pakistan after blasphemous contest saga‘, where we see: “Dutch envoy to Pakistan, Ardi Stoios-Braken announced on Twitter that the Embassy team will work with fresh energy and focus on promoting the bilateral relationship with Pakistan and mutual understanding“, yes I saw that coming a mile away and the question becomes, how much will that cost the Dutch government? By the way, in that same period of contemplating my correctness, I also designed two new (optional) Google devices, so it required close to no brainpower, so I had three other things running in the back of my head. Here too we are fed the lies by Geert Wilders. The lie “to avoid the risk of victims of Islamic violence, I have decided not to let the sacrilegious cartoon contest go ahead“, yet that was not really the case was it. The game was not set on the competition, but on the backdrop and I wonder what happened on May 1st 2018. When we were shown: ‘Far right leaders gathered in the southern French city of Nice‘, we were not in the picture on the rest. There was another player there, ready to use Geert Wilders as the tool he is. This was merely foreplay, binding the hands of certain politicians and setting the stage for others. The Independent gave on that very same day: ““The European Union today has catastrophic consequences for our countries, and yet another Europe is possible, the Union of European Nations,” she told a rally as she met with the leaders. “Europe is a good idea and the European Union is killing it.” The next European Parliament elections are scheduled for the 23 to 26 of May 2019 – after Britain is set to leave the European Union.“, that is the part that matters more, when things go out of balance, other players can come in and have some fun making money fast, that is the one part were the right seems to be blind. With Italy much more firmer in the right, with the AfD (Alternativ fur Deutchland) we see that they are still growing, even more so as Angela Merkel is now in a much lower ratings than ever before, so even as that does not indicate that AfD will push to better staging and more seats, that is not a given. Yet, in this I was proven wrong in my assumptions (based on data) on how Matteo Salvini was not really a risk and he got a much larger slice of Italian politics then we imagined and with Germany we cannot afford that mistake again. In all this it is more and more clear that the UK got out in time (a little too late though), with the European settings we all get to look at, there is a clear path that half of Europe will be in an anti-Muslim stage soon enough and not being part of that war is the only good we can hope for.

Yet the only links that I get back to in the end (thanks to some data that I found in Austria) from sources like the Wiener Zeitung and the Freedom Party of Austria and Heinz-Christian Strache is Steve Bannon of all people. Right on the same day that Cambridge Analytica became a non-entity, we see that Steve Bannon was always part of this, the question becomes: Was that why the data was needed? Was this why there was a nice dinner in Nice? OK, I admit that this is slightly too ‘conspiracy theoretic’, but the elements are there; we forgot that 87 million Facebook users are not merely there to use for the far right, they can also be used against the left and more important, once properly mined and grouped, other elements can also be addressed. We were treated to Channel 4 and their ‘Cambridge Analytica CEO filmed boasting of using entrapment, bribes and honey-traps to influence election‘, but the much larger cake is not merely the elections, it is the fact that creating discourse in Saudi Arabia as it is ready to start a trillion dollar investment setting (well over half for the creation of Neom, city of the future), we see a lot more opportunity for those players. Even in history we saw the UK push Egypt in another direction as it feared the larger hold and more importantly the hold that the UK would lose, we see a variation now by the escalations of Islam and anti-Islam and in all this Geert Wilders is the most visible tool. In this Steve Bannon played the game very well. Even as we saw him being close to Islamophobic in Breitbart and his film script, on which the Washington Post reported with “The script for the film, Destroying the Great Satan, which was never produced, opens with a fantasy scene of the US Capitol adorned with a star-and-crescent flag and broadcasting the Muslim call to prayer, according to a script obtained by the Washington Post. The film imagines a “fundamental clash of civilizations” between the west and “supremacist” Islam“. So, this is clearly not in my imagination and there is heaps of data behind it all, but there is no clear link, all the direct links are hidden. I am not speaking about ‘advertised’ open admiration between the players. No, there is a larger part in this and it is between middle men so there is nothing to prove. That evidence is not out there and it unlikely never ever will be. Steve Bannon is slightly too intelligent for that, because over time it comes knocking at his door, so he got it truly insulated against that, using tools like ‘Wilders’ as he sees fit. Marine Le Pen is in her heart too nationalistic (French) so she is an ally, but just up to a level and the same can be said for Matteo Salvini, all set in a stage of anti-Islam. Now that we see the Dutch impact others will be more cautious. When the Guardian informed us of “Steve Bannon has announced plans to establish a foundation in Europe that he hopes will fuel the spread of right-wing populism” we also got the push from Politico with “his potential European partners are ambivalent, saying they want to keep the controversial American at arm’s length even as they seek to tap his expertise on how to disrupt politics on the Continent“. I do not think it is false, but I do believe that there is orchestrated caution here. Yet as we also see: “Bannon’s connections to Europe’s leading populists, many sound unsure about letting an outsider play a central role in next year’s election, let alone one with his reputation. Some pointed out they are already working on their own pan-European alliances“, as well as “Rivière, his party’s international spokesman, said he has talked to Bannon about how he could “provide us with new ideas or share his experience.” Rivière said The Movement would be “a good non-partisan tool box” to achieve that. Bannon, who formerly ran Breitbart media, helped lead the successful Trump campaign in 2016 and went on to serve in the White House for seven months“. Here we see levels of facilitation and that facilitation will only go as far as Steve Bannon gets an industrial upper hand and it is not clear to me if these political players will be aware. What is very clear is that both Israel and Saudi Arabia need to become a lot more cautious when it comes to America. In the end, the Iranian escalations, the Syrian, Russian and Turkish setting in all this sounds nice and it sounds nice that America is on THEIR side, but only for as long as the economic fallout blows the wind to America, in the end those nations stand alone, in the end, America has a protection barrier called the Atlantic Ocean and they can retreat to ‘home ground’ , that is the play any bankrupt nation makes, lets others do the work for them, they only come when the cream is there to be scooped. When that does not happen, they walk away and we need to find a way to stop anti-Islam movements now, because they endanger the State of Israel in a similar way and even if these far right settings do not care, we should because when escalated it is a mess that no one can visit for at least a generation.

I think (as I stated before) that the seriousness of Saudi Arabia and the push for innovation has scared America and Europe. You see, the last time anyone was this driven we ended up with Google and now they are 4th in size on a global scale, that is until 2023 when they will jump back to number 2. Both IBM and Microsoft have issues and they will polarise clearly in view in 2019, at that point we will see a new shift and Google will bypass them pretty much overnight with all the 5G issues brought to the well willing hands of close to 2 billion people within a year, it is that same fear that made certain governments strike out against Huawei technologies. And that has nothing to do with security issues. When you realise that, we also see why the entire Wilders cartoon issue is a larger one. So, when you consider that the richest companies’ revenue wise in 2017 had Royal Dutch Shell on 7th with 240 billion in revenue. Now consider that the entire Wilders situation is still playing in Pakistan, with escalations still opening up in the UAE, Oman and Saudi Arabia. So when you consider that Shell could get hit and those hits are translated to additional opportunities for Exxon, which country benefits that? In the end Exxon and Shell might up trading revenue places on that same list in 2019.

There are enough markers in all this, but no direct evidence, that is likely to be seen after it is too late. At that point what will Europe do? Wake up, or just let it slide? I will let you decide, just be aware that the impact will be the economy, it usually is the first one to take a body blow in such events.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Finance, Media, Military, Politics, Religion, Science