Tag Archives: Rupert Murdoch

Stupid after the fact

We have always heralded stupidity, some in their work sphere, and some in the private sphere. It happens. Yet, when we are lucky we get to see the rarest of events, ‘greedy and stupid’ in one neatly wrapped package. That is the view we need to take when we see the Associated Press give us the events of ‘Carlos Nuzman, president of the Brazilian Olympic committee‘. So as we are treated with “In total, 11 detention warrants were issued for people in both Brazil and France in what police dubbed “Operation Unfair Play.”” we need to wonder how this came about. Now, there is the non-existing reality of ‘honour amongst thieves’, yet when it comes to the corrupt that rule will never exist. Most of these people are merely one skip away from being a target themselves. So when we see that the associated press gives us not a lot to go on (most merely circumstantial facts). The NY Times (at https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/08/sports/olympics/whistle-blower-says-he-told-of-rio-olympics-corruption-years-ago.html), has a lot more. With “Mr. Maleson, an outspoken critic of Mr. Nuzman, made accusations about Olympic projects and asked the I.O.C. why it had not prevented Mr. Nuzman, 75, from occupying the dual roles of leader of the Rio 2016 organizing committee and chief of Brazil’s national Olympic committee. “This is a clear conflict of interests, and the I.O.C. should never have allowed this to happen,” Mr. Maleson wrote in a Sept. 6, 2014, email to the I.O.C.’s president, Thomas Bach, and the organization’s judicial body. He contacted the I.O.C. in 2012 to accuse Mr. Nuzman of corruption and election fraud“, here we see systematic failures of organisations that grew beyond their means of comprehension. Consider the time-line. When we consider the Oxford Olympics Study 2016, with: “the outturn cost of the Sydney 2000 Summer Olympics at USD 5 billion in 2015-dollars and cost overrun at 90% in real terms. This includes sports-related costs only, that is, (i) operational costs incurred by the organizing committee for the purpose of staging the Games, e.g., expenditures for technology, transportation, workforce, administration, security, catering, ceremonies, and medical services, and (ii) direct capital costs incurred by the host city and country or private investors to build, e.g., the competition venues, the Olympic village, international broadcast center, and media and press center, which are required to host the Games. Indirect capital costs are not included, such as for road, rail, or airport infrastructure, or for hotel upgrades or other business investment incurred in preparation for the Games but not directly related to staging the Games“, The paper by Bent Flyvbjerg, Allison Stewart and Alexander Budzier (The Oxford Olympics Study 2016) shows levels of failure. The mere realisation of cost overruns that goes into multiple editions of 100% makes it a multi-billion dollar cash cow and there are too many players eager to dip their private (or is that privacy) parts into the golden troth of exploitation. Now, this does not state that Carlos Nuzman is corrupt; it merely gives us the setting. With the NY Times, we see that there is a much larger issue. The fact that there are clear records that there were issues and oppositions, whilst we now see that nothing was done, shows larger levels of failure that seem to be more about not rocking the boat, than to stop hurting the utterly broken image of the Olympics. When we consider the person linked to this, we see that Eric Leme Walther Maleson is the founder and former president of the Brazilian Ice Sports Federation has a long lasting life in sports and winner of three bronze medals in the sport, so we have a winner. This man seems to have been devoted to sports for most of his life. So it is a voice the Olympic committee should not have ignored. You see, the broken image of the Olympics, an image that went from excellence in sports towards the need for big business to promote their products under the guise of media exploitation is utterly void of spirit. Coca Cola, Dow, Intel, Samsung and Visa have changed that landscape. Agreeing to a situation that shows a growing curve of getting it all (namely the infrastructure) in place. You see, the earlier mentioned paper is important, even as we see “cost per athlete has been increasing for both the Summer Games and Winter Games, driven mainly by London 2012 and Sochi 2014. Overall, however, the changes over time are statistically non-significant for both Summer Games“, it is important as we know, or should know that the Olympics are set in three parts: ‘The event, the players and the cost of the location’. If the increase of cost per athlete had been significant, we would have had a less to go on, so with them out of the equation (and take the massive cost for Sochi 2014 away) we now have two elements: ‘The event’, which gives rise to internal corruption of stakeholders and sponsors; with the internal corruption of sponsors not in the mix (at present). We are left with the location and the stakeholders. Now, we all agree that the cost of everything goes up, but consider “15 of 19 Games (79 percent) have cost overruns above 50 percent and 9 of 19 Games (47 percent) have cost overruns above 100 percent“, now we can accept that such events will always come with the cost of business, we need to consider that ‘cost overrun‘ is merely a motto for political downplay of elements in their moment of national pride. I personally see it as an optional place where you can soften opposition with parked billions!

I believe that the paper has cornered certain Olympic elements and it cannot prove it, yet by exposing other parts as non-factorial we now see that the Olympics are a much large mess than the media is making it out to be. Even as we are focused on Carlos Nuzman, we are ignoring the elements that are part of the machine behind it. So when we see USA Today “French and Brazilian authorities said Nuzman brought together businessman Arthur Cesar de Menezes Soares Filho, and Lamine Diack, the former head of track and field’s governing body who at the time was an IOC voting member. Soares Filho’s company, Matlock Capital Group, allegedly paid Diack $2 million into a Caribbean account held by his son, Papa Massata Diack. Authorities said Lamine Diack, an influential African member from Senegal, was instrumental in organizing the African bloc of votes. The widening case implicated four-time Olympic medallist Frank Fredericks. The former sprinter from Namibia has said a near-$300,000 payment he received via Diack’s son on the day Rio won the vote was for legitimate consultancy work. Still, Fredericks lost his place leading an IOC inspection team to visit Paris and Los Angeles” these all seem legitimate elements in all this and it is not part or regarding ‘Frank Fredericks‘, I wonder how and what work he did to get the $300,000. I and many others have never been offered $300K for a consultancy job, so what does ‘legitimate’ entail? The element in this is ‘an IOC inspection team to visit Paris and Los Angeles’, you see, what would they have been privy to and exposed to? The USA today gives us that in the very last line. With “dozens of top politicians implicated in a sweeping judicial corruption investigation in which construction giant Odebrecht illegally paid billions to help win contracts” we are exposed to the cost of doing business. Paying 2 billion to gain 11 billion in contracts is merely good business and the locations still need to be constructed, the untold part in all this. Odebrecht is present in South America, Central America, North America, the Caribbean, Africa, Europe and the Middle East. They have been stepping on large toes and as such certain French players are eager to see it stop. Construction is the largest unmonitored Wild West industry remaining on the planet. Odebrecht with a value now approaching 42 billion is an issue for many players. Even as we are confronted in the US with “Howard Archer, chief economic advisor to the EY ITEM Club, reckoned Friday’s economic data indicated UK GDP growth may likely be limited to just 0.3% for the third quarter, he also acknowledged the disappointment in trade and construction output“, which might not be anything worth mentioning, unless you see it next to Odebrecht and the currently unsubstantiated channels towards a multiple billions (read: expected 2.08 billion) to get 11 billion in extra jobs, now it becomes something the American players (as well as the European ones) are getting huffy and puffy about, because if Odebrecht is getting it, they are not and that is where investigative parties get creative. So when we see “They emerged with suitcases, documents and a computer“, we need to wonder. Was the taken away party actually that stupid, or are we witnessing a new Flim Flam visitation of: watch ‘here’ whilst out of view certain deals are brokered. In all this the sponsors are still part and equally guilty. You see the sponsors let cost overruns of over 100% go and not give proper light to EVERY element in this. Merely that the local political engines were sorting it out for them (and those political players get to live with the consequences), the sponsors merely move on. As I personally see it, these sponsors are supposed to be intelligent, so this is happening with their silent approval, only when they fail to meet the targets that is set towards the costs, only then will we hear them loudly. This is exactly why Qatar 2022 remains in the news, again and again. The media is already kicking up stinks because they aren’t getting anything out of it, they are merely in a place to either accept it or move out. The Daily Mail is giving us more and more allegations and even as some smile because Qatar did not qualify for the world cup 2022, we see “Qatar’s elimination will be enjoyed by its many critics in the West who claim the emirate should never have been given the chance to host the World Cup, pointing to a lack of footballing pedigree as well as corruption and labour abuse claims“, how about these critics in the west shut up as continue to suck the tits of corruption they are currently sucking on? I am more lenient towards Christopher Davidson, who with ““Having never qualified for a World Cup before, I don’t think Qatar should have ever made the claim that it was a genuine footballing nation,” Christopher Davidson, a Middle East expert at Britain’s Durham University, told AFP” we might accept their words, yet when we consider the Jamaica bobsled team, ending up ahead of United States, Russia, Australia and France. Should we take bobsleighing away from the USA or France? We have heard 2 years of utter bullshit of these critics with supposedly showing all air and no evidence? In that same light, should we dissolve the Sunday Times this coming Monday? Remember the claim of “obtained millions of secret documents – emails, letters and bank transfers – which it alleges are proof that the disgraced Qatari football official Mohamed Bin Hammam made payments totalling US$5m (£3m) to football officials in return for their support for the Qatar bid“, so if they do not go public with all the evidence, can we force closure of the Sunday Times? Personally I find the existence of Rupert Murdoch and Martin Ivens offensive. They represent what is wrong with media today, so if they are gone, I will feel happiness. They are going with alleged and proclaimed, whilst the construction levels of corruption are happening at their front door and at that point they remain really really silent. In light of FIFA, we have seen levels of failing where the press was eagerly not rocking any boats at all, merely when big business saw it was losing out, at that point everyone screamed murder and mayhem.

These players have been stupid after the fact for much too long and as such we need to consider whether we need to overhaul the Olympics in ways never conceived before. Perhaps it will downgrade those events for the much larger extent. It will no longer be about drugging, about substance abuse or about the next mobile phone that works better when you drink Coca Cola. It will be about athletes competing for the title of who is actually the best, no sponsors, no advertisements and no billboards.

This is all still ongoing, with Qatar finishing Hamad port, we will see more and more issues rise, but as the stream for completing the WC 2022 event going straight into Qatar, we see that some players will take other venues to see what stink they can kick up. We can see the validity of France trying to aid in resolving the issue. An opportunity Turkey let fly by is now in the hands of Bertrand Besancenot, diplomatic adviser to the government. As France has close ties with Egypt and the UAE while also being a major arms supplier to Qatar and a key ally of Saudi Arabia, we see a player that is eager to find a solution for all as they greatly benefit any solution. If there is one issue, then it is the one that the UAE edition of the National brings us. With “Despite its claims of being ‘under blockade’, Qatar has also expanded shipping routes to India, Oman, Turkey and Pakistan and announced plans to raise its liquefied natural gas (LNG) output by 30 per cent in an effort to weather the boycott“, we see a dangerous turn as there is an actual danger in pushing to raise output towards 30%, as I see it, it requires certain players to circumvent larger safety settings, which could be the start of a very different disaster in Qatar. In addition, who in Al Jazeera will be part of the committee in charge for building and setting up the media centre during WC2022? It could potentially become a new Al Jazeera building merely months after the event and as such, it is an opportunity for Al Jazeera to set the bar for their competitors in the Middle East even higher. There is nothing like raising the output of your own station by 300% to truly get more visibility. In that view, as we will soon hear on how Qatar has optionally additional satellites available for all reporting parties, has anyone considered the impact of government fuelled competition? So when we are stupid behind the fact, were we not looking on what is additionally provided for? So when we are watching Tokyo bring live every match and event in hi-res to our G5 phone free of charge, has anyone considered the fact that we spend an additional $400 to get that phone ahead of schedule? So with 3-5 players getting an additional share of $20 billion for 5G on the initial launch, what is the part we were not looking at? Until the moment is there, we can understand that players like Apple, Google, Huawei and Samsung are quiet as a mouse, but all that ‘bedazzling entertainment‘ represent additional construction billions, additional satellites and longer terms benefits not charged or taxed, all under the guise of: ‘sports’. If it is true that we see the first pilots go live during Pyeongchang, and we will all readily accept that this will be the shining moment of Samsung (the local player there) as it shows what more we can expect from becoming the mobile entrepreneur, what do you think that Tokyo (2020), Qatar (2022), Beijing (2022) and Paris (2024) will bring? These 4 will have a growing infrastructure need which means that construction will grow even further. Four events that can only be done and almost literally set in stone by the strongest and largest players in construction, the instant moment to make several billions merely by being at the right place. That is what others fear Odebrecht could do. Larger players that are at present not ready to the extent that they needed to be for the upcoming considerations. Even as we see the South American headlines regarding Odebrecht, we need to realise that Odebrecht is everywhere. In that, it is: ‘who’s who in Legal’ that brings the ending gem to all this. With “Big-ticket cases involving the likes of Rolls-Royce, Petrobras, Odebrecht and Barclays remain at the forefront of the international corporate crime market, encompassing both corporate and individual defence and therefore keeping a vast number of lawyers across the world exceptionally busy. It is a trend that the majority of lawyers canvassed during our research see no sign of abating, as the fight for transparency and the activities of enforcement agencies intensify” we are shown to the cost of doing business and Odebrecht is not alone and it is not evil, the world changed yet the players on other sides remains stoic and unmoving, now that they are no longer regarded as people who matter, they now shout foul and demand action. So as we see the greedy idiots trying one more tantrum to get the WC away from Qatar, we need to see that the foundation of sports have become rotten and corrupt, the foundations are falling because the structure were never adhering to the reality of doing business. Merely a presentation from an outdated PowerPoint shows that what we saw and what we believe was never a reality. So as the media hides behind claims and allegations stating that the entire system is corrupt and sick, we might argue that the media has labelled themselves as healers seeing what is wrong whilst they are merely the hypochondriacs in this game; seeing and reporting on sickness whilst they have no medical degree or knowledge of the symptoms, or claiming to have the results but are unwilling to make them public. Hiding behind documents that never see the light of day, they proclaim exist, whilst not presenting the evidence, all whilst they herald politicians who in the same air and at that same moment present the acceptance of the ‘invoice of buildings’ that ended up being 100% more expensive as it was for the good of sports. Only after the fact, when the dust settles will some ask questions and do we see that people like Carlos Nuzman, guilty or not being towed away, that whilst questions were asked years before the event. With 5 large events coming up, with close to a trillion at stake, sponsors and stakeholders will not ask questions until targets are not met, or are close to being a risk of not making it. The media will remain on the foreground silent ‘awaiting‘ evidence, merely speculating at times, whilst shouting on behalf of others when those ‘friends’ (read: advertisers) have too much to lose. Greed driven media, this is exactly why people like Rupert Murdoch and Martin Ivens should be discontinued. In the end they are merely in it for the circulation at best and personal greed at worst.

We can all be stupid after the fact, which includes me. Yet when I am I will be in a state of ‘Wow, I so did not see that coming!‘ and I will to improve the way I see things, whilst the others are playing another iteration of ‘the next wave’ to fill their pockets. It sets me apart as I want improvements to a system that could be good and they merely want continuation of their luxurious way of life.

I still believe that certain players will push for the change of Qatar 2022. Yet after that, after it happens, when evidence lacked, we should demand their mandatory retirement from income and public life, and those sponsors should be barred from global sport sponsoring events forever. I wonder how many politicians will turn out to be a mere representation of cowardice at that point in time, trying to find some compromise that their way of life finds acceptable?

 

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Finance, Gaming, Media, Politics, Science

Age of darkness coming

An interesting article came to light today. Actually, it might not be that interesting. It is merely the consequence of a series of bad decisions by several people. The interesting part is that it was not a local thing. This is possibly one of the few times where several decisions on a global scale escalated one another into the move away from what at times now is laughingly referred to as ‘journalism’. The Guardian (at https://www.theguardian.com/media/2017/apr/15/journalism-faces-a-crisis-worldwide-we-might-be-entering-a-new-dark-age) gives us “Australia’s two largest legacy media organisations recently announced big cuts to their journalistic staff“, up to 120 editorial positions are being wiped from the list of employment options. Apparently there was also the mention “Both announcements were accompanied by corporate spin voicing a continuing commitment to quality journalism. Nobody in the know believes it“. It is followed by the mention that this is partly thanks to Donald Trump. The truth is nowhere near Trump, the entire Trump bashing is merely putting in the spotlight what had been known for some time. There is however a side that is very much true and it is escalating into a movement that will change even further over the next 20 months. The quote “technology has torn apart the two businesses – advertising and news – that used to be bound together by the physical artefact of the newspaper. Once, those who wanted to find a house, a job or a car had to buy a newspaper to read the classifieds. Now, it is cheaper and more efficient to advertise and search online“, it will change even further and the bulk of the audience is not up to speed yet, but within a year they will be.

For me the messed up situation was visible for a long time. No matter what excuse the people of News give, whatever Fairfax claims, it does not matter. Consider the following: ‘Will you pay $2.4 for filtered news?‘ This question is a lot harder than you realise, because the definition of ‘filter’ is not a given, but it is at the heart of the matter. Let’s take a few parts to give you a little perspective.

2010, 2011, we are given all kinds of news regarding Grexit, a weird dirty dance where some players are ‘threatening’ to expel Greece from the Euro. We see the news for weeks, yet no one seems to know what they are doing and the papers are absent in mentioning a legal work that was published in December 2009 by Phoebus Athanassiou that basically inform us that expulsion is not an option, you can only voluntarily leave the EEC and the Euro. The paper (at https://lawlordtobe.files.wordpress.com/2015/07/ecblwp10.pdf) is a paper that comes from the European Central Bank, so why were the newspapers in the dark? Why were the readers not properly informed on this? All the value of a newspaper thrown into the circular filing system, value lost forever.

2011 Operation Weeting. This would be the beginning of a decline that escalated on a global scale. Most people took notice to some degree regarding the News of the World, the phone hacking scandal and the celebrities involved, yet when the world learned of the hacked phones of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler, relatives of deceased British soldiers and victims of the 7 July 2005 London bombings the world did not react in kindness, those involved had crossed a line that a very large group found too unacceptable. Many went from ‘Ah well, celebrities!‘ towards ‘WTF!‘ and ‘Could this happen here?‘ two very different trains of thought, the Leveson inquiry that followed was followed by many and a lot of them not in the UK, when the conclusions were revealed we saw a group of editors shouting murder, fascism and on how the freedom of the press was in danger whilst none of them showed any level of accountability, this was one of the clearest coffin nails. There is more and part is not their fault. In this the politicians also have a blame in the matter. As the actual press (the Guardian, the Times, the Independent) were trying to continue to be the responsible ones (to the larger degree), they were placed next to tabloids, magazines proclaiming to be newspapers whilst limiting themselves to ‘Kardashian puts ample bust on display’ (Daily Mail). A lot could have been prevented by making these tabloids VAT (read GST) enabled. Giving the tabloids no longer a 0% VAT options would have levelled the bar a little (read: truly, just a little) against the actual newspapers in the UK. It could have spurred a larger European change. It would not have ended better for the newspapers, yet some of them would have had more time to change their product and business approach.

2012 Sony, this is the one that really got me mad. Two weeks before the PS4 was launched, Sony pulled a fast one. I discussed this (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2014/08/12/no-press-no-facebook/), in my article ‘No Press, No Facebook!‘, in this case the Guardian was pretty much the only newspaper that gave it any decent attention. A change that would affect 30 million gamers and the news remained absent. So where is the value of my newspaper now? It was “7.1. You must not resell either Disc-based Software or Software Downloads, unless expressly authorised by us and, if the publisher is another company, additionally by the publisher“, it was followed by a weak statement by a board member of Sony, but the papers and other media were quick to ignore it and none had the critical statement: ‘A terms of service is a legal document, a statement by a board member of Sony can be countermanded with a mere memo‘, the press remained absent! It all sizzled down the track as the TPP never came into effect, but the damage was done and now it was damage that hits the press as well as they were too busy with circulation numbers and facilitating to your advertisers, because Sony PS4 advertisement money is what all newspapers desperately needed, so compromising 30 million gamers (that’s Europe, with 5 million in the UK) was likely not a big deal to them.

These are a few of a growing list of issues where the newspapers are in a bad place, but to some extent they got themselves there. Margaret Simons gives us “Today, just about anyone with an internet connection and a social media account has the capacity to publish news and views to the world. This is new in human history” near the end. She is correct here, but she also forgets to mention that reach and quality is still and issue. I have, with my blog, a mere reach of 5-6 thousand readers, which is next to nothing. I believe that I offer a quality view, but that is in the eyes of the beholder. However, I am only a blogger. When she mentions ‘the capacity to publish news‘ is not entirely correct. Some are falling in front of the news because of location, yet these people are for the most not journalists and that is the kicker. Pieces that are truly journalistic remains pieces of value, the people are just having too many question marks. In addition, the people have lost a massive amount of quality of life, and the price of a newspaper subscription whilst news online tends to be free and the cost of living is going up is also a factor we cannot deny. Yet in equal measure I have worked in firms where they all had 2-5 newspapers on a daily base, most (read: nearly all of them) have stopped doing that, cutting costs did that to some degree.

So as we see the announced age of darkness coming into the newspaper business, we cannot fault their hardship, even though they themselves are partially to blame, yet in equal measure, it seems to me that quality journalism is becoming a nuisance in several European nations. They can hide some of the bad news in sponsored morning shows, there they can spin to some degree, but in a newspaper, and it is all about the relevant information, a side too many players are currently too uncomfortable with. Its fair enough that some journalists are trying to get around that part, but as too much actual news is given to us freely at a moment’s notice, many agree that there is too much speculation in some news, like ‘North Korea may be capable of firing a missile loaded with sarin nerve gas toward Japan‘ (source: CBC), yet in equal measure the newspapers have not been the utterly reliable source of news either and on both sides of the publications, there seems to be a growing issue with ethics to consider and that is even before we add tabloids like Daily Mail, Mail Online, and whatever Murdoch gets to publish. The newspapers became a multidimensional mess. I personally think it is because they waited too long to embrace the online community and that is before the new changes hits them over the next two years. By proclaiming themselves as non-accountable and considering themselves as too important, they marketed themselves straight into the insolvency mode. Yet, that is merely my view on all this.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Finance, Media, Politics

Medici decided to do Shakespear

All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players; they have their exits and their entrances. This is what went through my mind when I saw ‘Phone hacking: CPS may bring corporate charges against Murdoch publisher‘ (at http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/aug/28/phone-hacking-cps-may-bring-corporate-charges-rupert-murdoch-publisher) this morning. You see, the phone hacking scandal is not new, this started in 2011, and now, 4 years later the CPS decides to get a clue (or was that gives a toss?).  It matters not where they are at, the news as given seems to be the aftermath to the party someone seemed to have missed. The question becomes, who is the mad hatter? Is it the one giving the party? Perhaps that label is attached to a notion, a gimmick or even an organisation. It does not seem to be an individual. Let’s take a look at the story, you see, this is the fact of writing on the mad hatter “The Hatter explains to Alice that he and the March Hare are trapped in a never-ending tea party because, when he tried to sing for the Queen of Hearts at a celebration, she sentenced him to death for ‘murdering the time’. He escaped this fate, but Time, out of anger at his attempted to ‘murder’, has halted himself for the Hatter, keeping him and the March Hare at 6:00 pm forever“. If we paraphrase ‘murdering time’, we could get ‘wasting time’. But whose time was wasted? Is one of the players really a mad hatter? We no longer use Mercury in the fabrication of hats, but the issue remains, this article reads like it is something else entirely. I could go on with the March hare, but I think I am already getting through to you. The question becomes, who is Alice and why is she at this party?

There are two quotes, one following the other that gives way to my thoughts “The Metropolitan police handed over a file of evidence on News International – now renamed News UK – to the CPS for consideration after an investigation stretching back to 2011, when the News of the World was closed at the height of the scandal“, which gives us, why is the CPS only now taking a ‘better’ look? 4 years later, is that not odd? Then we get “We have received a full file of evidence for consideration of corporate liability charges relating to the Operation Weeting phone-hacking investigation”, which implies that the CPS and other players never looked at corporate liability charges the way it should have been looked at. This now gives us loads of questions and it should leave you with the question ‘What exactly was behind the looking glass?’ Who was looking, or better stated, who was NOT looking.

The quote “The CPS decision comes six months after the US department of justice told Murdoch’s company it would not face charges in the US” leaves the impression that the actions of the CPS have been in very bad taste, the rights of the people had been violated with impunity and only after the press at large felt the impending dangers that their time of abuse was over (due to the Levison report) did they dress up like debutantes, eager to take whatever was ‘thrusted’ into them to avoid losing ‘their’ power base. All the efforts in how they claimed that they would be worthy of self-administration, worthy to remain ‘unaccountable’. The ink had not even dried on the verdict when we got to read about the ‘suicide mission’ of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.

Only now do we see that Murdoch’s company ‘could’ be prosecuted (that does not mean it will be successful) regarding corporate liability. I am not buying it. When we consider the subtitle ‘The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) is set to interview former Tesco chief executive Philip Clarke as part of its criminal investigation into the supermarket chain‘ (at http://economia.icaew.com/news/august-2015/sfo-questions-former-tesco-ceo), whilst the news remains massively silence regarding linked party Pricewaterhouse Coopers, we have to start asking a few very serious questions. Yet, the article also tells us: “the Financial Reporting Council launched a probe into the roles of PwC and various members of the accountancy profession involved in the preparation, approval and audit of its accounts“, we should worry if any of this will go anywhere. The entire Tesco matter was a six billion plus pound drop on the economy. Not the smallest of events, yet no serious investigations, or if there is, the press is steering clear of all this, which is another oddity entirely.

Yet 10 days ago, we see “The FCA has dropped its probe into Quindell after the Serious Fraud Office launched a criminal investigation into the business and accounting practices at the insurance technology firm” with the added “In May Quindell announced that PricewaterhouseCoopers had completed an independent review of a number of its accounting policies”, as well as “PwC also identified that some policies were not appropriate. Quindell’s own review confirmed PwC’s findings“. Are the involved players playing footsie (the use of involved is intentional, this game had more than two players), or are we seeing the start of a new dance, one where in the end, no one goes to jail and no one loses anything, other than a few slapping of the wrists.

So how does this all links? Well, it doesn’t link, they are separate entities, but the given is that we are watching several plays where pretty much all the actors will get away with murder and as the cadavers on stage are real, the people go home reflecting on how realistic it all looked, not realising that we watched games with actual casualties.

Are we facing the beginning of a new Machiavellian play here?

The quote “A source familiar with the original investigation said there could be an element of politics in the transfer of the file. “My best guess is because nobody in the police has the bottle to draw the line under this, they have just passed the buck on the CPS” gives us something to ponder. The CPS website gives us this: “The statutory role of the Crown Prosecution Service is to advise the police in certain circumstances, and to conduct criminal prosecutions. The police provide evidence and information to enable the CPS to carry out these statutory functions“, which gives us the thought ‘if it is statutory, why was this not done sooner?‘ So why did this happen after such a long time, why was the CPS not chomping at the bits on day one that there was a clear issue with the news of the world? In my view, we need to consider that there are more elements in play. Political elements. It is merely a speculation from my side. I would think that cases like Rolf Harris and Jimmy Savile prosecution elements would have learned their lesson, but that does not seem to be the case and face it, this is about money, nothing sexual sexy about it, so the press does not seem to care.

The only question becomes is this truly about going after Murdoch, or is this about tying down resources so that they do not have to go after PricewaterhouseCoopers? My side on this is purely speculative, but consider the fact that the CPS has 8000 man and the fact that the SFO would be (read should be) looking at PwC, the fact that the press steers clear of it is weird to say the least. The Tesco mess will take a long time to unravel, the fact that it is kept away from everywhere is a matter of concern to all.

That is where we are at. So there was no typo at the start, we are watching certain people wield a spear, it is thrust at certain players who will most likely survive and it seems to be for the benefit of theatrics and ‘non-convictions’. Even now, as we see PwC named in linking to Quindell, the press steers clear form PwC regarding Tesco. So in all this, what is wrong with the picture we see, moreover, why is there ‘suddenly’ (implied it is sudden, it is not a given) an investigation 4 years later, one that seems to have been activated as the Americans pull away, which beckons the question why the CPS waited for the American parts in the first place.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Law, Finance, Media, Politics

More FIFA shit?

That was the very first thought I had when I found the article in the Guardian (at http://www.theguardian.com/football/2015/jun/07/russia-qatar-lose-world-cups-if-bribery-found-fifa). The article ‘Russia and Qatar may lose World Cups if evidence of bribery is found‘. Domenico Scala, the independent chairman of FIFA’s audit and compliance committee decided to open his mouth. Which sounds rude, but that is what it adds up to. You see, in all this, as I see it, nearly EVERY MEMBER of FIFA seems to ignore, or sidestep the report by Michael J. Garcia. Is it not interesting that the report called for far trivialised by FIFA and now it has been silenced? Is it remotely possible that Michael J Garcia was the only uncorrupted voice?

It seems like a hard verdict and it seems crass to say so, but I have an issue with an interim manage with massive big business ties. Many of them none too pleased with either Russia or Qatar winning the ballot. With the quote “The new evidence, obtained by the BBC, appears to show how the 2008 payments from Fifa – ostensibly for a Diaspora Legacy Programme promised by South African World Cup organisers” we do take notice, especially as BBC had been on the case of Jack Warner for a long time, but how does this connect to Russia or Qatar?

The article then shows more with the quote “‘after talking with everybody … Whose votes went where? We’re all colleagues, you know. And then we found out that actually Morocco won by two votes,’ the Sunday Times reported Bhamjee as saying“, which seems to be another worry, as I see it, one of the next world cups should then be allotted to Morocco by default, which one is hard to say, 2026 perhaps?

But the article seems to go off to the side, you see the one small quote “had also alleged bribery during the 2018-22 race” is not enough. In a river of papers, documents and evidence the issue of Russia and Qatar are now set in 9 words.

So why is the Michael J. Garcia report held back, why is Michael J. Garcia not talking? It seems with Fat Cat Sepp and loads of others gone, Garcia might become untouchable, depending on that report, so why is that kept behind closed doors? That is part of the reason why I am not willing to give Domenico Scala any leeway or trust, especially with his biopharmaceutical links and his past in Nestle and Roche. These are global players with their claws all over the place. As I stated in my earlier blog regarding FIFA, ‘is it more likely than not’ that large corporations want Qatar to go because of the hundreds of millions in advertisement that are lost because of the Qatarian situation? Having the investigator who basically sleeps in the bed of these large corporations is not a mindset put at ease. The fact that Michael Garcia has vanished in a cloud of non-publications for almost 6 months does not help matter either. The fact that the press is not all over this is even more unsettling.

Then the last sentence, which is actually quite the firecracker. You see the sentence “The Sunday Times says that it supplied the evidence to Fifa five years ago but that it had not acted on it“. Of course, the fact that it is directly linked to Rupert Murdoch does not help the case. But the issue that does play is whether this interaction is in Michael Garcia’s report does matter. You see, if Garcia has it, what were his findings? If he did not have it, the question becomes, who has been regulating the mailboxes of the FIFA members. At this point it is likely to be more than just a reference to people like Jack Warden, because whoever did that (if it was done) must have been a person who is very high up the ladder of FIFA.

The one thing that puts the people (especially the Soccer lovers) at ease is the one step that FIFA is not making, now we get a new one in ‘charge’ and we see more headlines with the mention ‘if evidence of bribery is found‘. So, is my lack of trust that hard to grasp? Overall is there any faith in FIFA at present? Not by me, I do not matter, but those who are truly passionate about soccer, those who felt the reality, which they have expected so long, it still hit them like a kick in the nuts!

They are the people Domenico Scala needs to connect to, especially if FIFA is to have any future, because the news now is just news, but son we will see day after day the issues of extradition that is being fought by those allegedly corrupt, who are in fear of future for their sphincter as they enter the US courts. Then the actual courts that will take more months and more news again and again on FIFA and corruption. If Domenico Scala wants the trust of the people, the true soccer fans, than as I see it, he has no choice but to publish the report, preferably with Michael J Garcia standing next to him vocal about every part of his report. It is not the view Hans-Joachim Eckert would like, but there are questions, questions that also include the ethics committee. So as we see the quote that BBC had on December 17th 2014 “Fifa president Sepp Blatter said: “I am surprised by Mr Garcia’s decision. The work of the ethics committee will nonetheless continue”“, in light of all the arrested and one person who resigned, how did the ethics committee continue, and did it actually continue at all?

Having someone on the ethics committee does not mean that there is an ethics committee, for that reality, one need not look any further than the UK and its view on ‘justice’ via Justice Secretary Chris Grayling. The amount of my peers that have loudly voiced their view on what the Lord Chancellor regards as legal aid, which by the way is what you usually hear when a truck drives starts shouting after a traffic jam of 18 hours, it is not healthy on the ears!

In all this, many articles and several decision only seem to fuel uncertainty, especially regarding trust of FIFA that is now getting louder. Uncertainty will lead to a more grim view on what will happen to FIFA. You see in the end, the power of soccer is Europe, which means that if enough uncertainty is voiced, someone in power will voice to secede FIFA and make UEFA the one power in Europe. FIFA might laugh now, but the large soccer nations include UK, The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, France, Italy and Spain. If three of these, agree on that action, they can pull a host of other european nations across. Let’s not forget that 70% of the power of soccer is Europe, it is not America, Asia or Africa. So whatever is left for the world cup will diminish the ‘world cup’ into a trophy of a few nations that will soon thereafter see that all the funds of soccer remains in Europe, at that point large corporations will pull out and the 6 billion Euro dream that was will be a devaluated nightmare. That nightmare will continue with every court iteration the US goes through on corruption.

That view only polarises further when we consider the quote “He has threatened to release an “avalanche” of secrets about FIFA and its embattled president Sepp Blatter, who last week announced his intended resignation“, which was in the New York Times (at http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/08/sports/soccer/at-center-of-fifa-scandal-a-divisive-politician-in-jack-warner.html. This ‘threat’ is not entirely impossible as Jack Warner was previously a minister of national security and transportation. So we will soon see the ‘spook’ stories in the Telegraph I reckon.

In all this, the media will become the hyena that needs feeding, if Domenico Scala is to get any handle on this, releasing the full report of Michael Garcia would be a first step. It will not matter what that report states, you see, if it is useless, it will only reflect on Michael Garcia, if it was dynamite, it will hit resigned president Sepp Blatter, but it could also have repercussions for Justice Hans-Joachim Eckert, but that would depend on the report itself. If it does show that there were issues with both Russia 2018 and Qatar 2022, well, as I stated before, let the chips fall where they may!

So as we will get more FIFA shot for a long time to come, which has a hidden treasure (if Swiss Law helps me out here).  You see, life in Switzerland is not cheap, even though he has millions, now all that money going to him will be mapped, anyone ‘helping’ him out will soon fall under the investigative scope of the US as well, due to possibility of being an accomplice. I am not stating that those people are that, but a criminal investigation is taking place. Now he is in a land where bank secrets will not help him as he is under scrutiny of extradition, in addition, Scotland Yard (who must feel humiliated as this all happened under their noses) are now looking at him 24/7 as well (a presumption on my side). Jack Warner is under a microscope whilst his sons are talking to the FBI, naming their father as a joined co-conspirator. The fun never ends, with every claim he does not pursue (the avalanche of secrets) his position becomes weaker, whatever he reveals implies his connection and it weakens him further as his former ‘friends’ will want to stay away from that toxic environment. He still gets hit, no matter what. I would think that as a former National Security minister, he would have planned his tactics a little better, but that could just be my wrongly skewed vision. Now this comes to blows with the press, I wonder what Brigadier General Alfonso will do. Now that his former colleague is accused, will the General start an investigation into the bank accounts of the agency? I am not stating that Jack Warner stole anything, but what if he used the accounts to syphon money in more than one direction, not just to receive, but to make payment. Now we have a ballgame that is more entertaining than soccer, because if that is so, than Trinidad could be touched by the FIFA scourge. If so, Jack Warner might stop fighting extradition, just to escape the wrath of Brigadier General Alfonso.

In all this, never forget the parts that matter here, there is no evidence that Jack Warner had nothing but the highest love for his Trinidad, his need for … ‘susceptibility to gifts’ does not diminish his national love or in his view his national pride, but how is it viewed by his peers and other around him? That question touches on the quote “The prime minister of this Caribbean republic walked out of a session of Parliament on Friday, angrily chastising a fellow politician and former ally, Jack Warner, who finds himself and his two sons at the center of soccer’s widespread corruption scandal” which the NY Times article started with. You see, overall corruption is not a new thing, it happens in many places, it is just a clear fact that when it gets out in the open, those persons are usually not liked anymore. The same danger he faces all over the field, which is why some of the aspects seem so funny to me. He might throw a few parties now in Switzerland, but soon he will face the reality of legal fees and cost of living, because whatever he wants to pay with will be under none stop scrutiny.

So, we will see plenty more FIFA ‘shit’, the question I have is how UEFA will act and react, because faith in FIFA could soon be at an all-time low, more important, what is Electronic Arts (EA Sports) not willing to pay for?

Leave a comment

Filed under Gaming, Law, Media, Politics

The Sound of silence

Hello accountant, my dark fate
your books are bloated as of late
the need for bonus loudly creeping
to be deposited so fleeting
and the greedy that are filling
their domain, they always gain
it is the need for money

The P W C accounting firm
will gain support, another turn
you see the press is staying quiet
we wonder now who got them hired
see the news is remaining just the same, it’s such a shame
and they should all be fired

You might think why this rewritten song of Simon and Garfunkel? You see, it has been almost 50 years exactly that Simon and Garfunkel took this to paper, 50 years later we would see quite the different ballad, one that would see repercussions in ways never seen before, yet both instances unique. That part was made clear today when we see ‘Tesco posts record loss: what the experts say‘ (at http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/apr/22/tesco-posts-record-loss-what-the-experts-say). So when we see “Tesco reports record £6.4bn loss” and when we see ‘these experts’, you and me alike should ask a series of questions the press is not asking. It has not been asking them for 2 quarters now (well an absolute minimum).

Consider the following quote: “Soon after his arrival, Lewis unveiled a £263m accounting scandal caused by overoptimistic recording of payments made to Tesco by suppliers. Tesco is under investigation by the Serious Fraud Office and the supermarket regulator over the affair“, this is what got it all started, what the publishing pussies refer to as ‘overoptimistic recording of payments‘ turned out to be nothing less than a systematic issue as we saw some of the news from DeLoitte. It is shown in my ‘adjusted lyrics’:

Will gain support, another turn
you see the press is staying quiet
we wonder now who got them hired

You see, there is the Sound of Silence, an actual silence. Try finding anything regarding Tesco in 2015 regarding PricewaterhouseCoopers. You will find very very little, pretty much the absolute minimum. Perhaps you remember the wild allegations on the ‘MH370 suicide flight‘, in addition, all those claims regarding the World Cup soccer in Qatar 2022. Yet, in regards to PwC the Murdoch machine stays very quiet. I regard that this makes Rupert Murdoch the biggest pussy in newspaper publication since the newspaper concept started in the 17th century.

It took just less than two hours to realise that PwC needed investigation, the papers made close to zero mention on it, there were some casual mentions regarding ‘asking questions’, but it was as low key as technologically possible. In December 2014 it pretty much stops, feel free to try and Google it for yourself. You will find articles on how Sainsbury switches from PwC to Ernst and Young (January 16th 2015), but for the rest there is too much nothing. Not just the Murdoch groups, but in equal measure, you will find little to nothing regarding PricewaterhouseCoopers. Is that not strange? Especially as we now see how £263m inflation, caused a £6.4bn deflation. A result 24:1, it became such an interesting long term bet to make, especially by those involved. Yet many of those players are shrouded in silence.

You see another matter suddenly dawned on me. I reckon you all remember Julian Assange, from all those cables regarding the Afghan war. 5 days ago, they decided to also go public on all those Sony hacked cables. We see the quote: “This archive shows the inner workings of an influential multinational corporation. It is newsworthy and at the centre of a geopolitical conflict. It belongs in the public domain“. No Mr Assange! You decided to play god with stolen data and you decided the fate of this corporation by hanging out the laundry, in addition, you handed the power they wielded and threw it up in the air to be taken over by any competitor who can grow in directions they never bothered to look, because they could not be bothered taking the effort.

And as we are talking into the public domain Julian, what happened to your ‘bravery’ when you made the quote “In November, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange told Forbes the site has a ‘mega leak’ on an unnamed major US bank exposing an ‘ecosystem of corruption’ that will be released early this year?” I am pretty sure that this never went public. I searched high and low and your WikiLeaks page shows nothing there either. It seems to me that many parties are too scared when it comes to banks and financial institutions.

The question should be Did Julian Assange have anything ever regarding his claims on an ‘ecosystem of corruption’ in regards to a US bank. Should I not ask that question? You see, when the press at large ignores the PwC issue, many should ask questions, especially as both Tesco and Greece fill pages of text in the Guardian and several other newspapers, yet the hunt for information regarding PwC is not moving forward.

In the first article mentioned, where we see the dubious term ‘what the experts say’, NO MENTION AT ALL on PricewaterhouseCoopers (or PwC), is that not strange? The question how 10 million in costs (which I converted to 199 full time accountants working on Tesco for a full year alone) did not reveal anything in time, so how could such a managed event stay hidden? In several articles we see a similar quote as I am adding here, a quote that in many cases was the very first paragraph of articles late October 2013. “DELOITTE has completed its review of Tesco’s overstated half-yearly results and confirmed that its black hole is even bigger than the £250m previously declared and goes back even further than the supermarket group had originally stated“, which means that these auditors ‘missed’ it for a longer period of time. A thought I had in the first few hours, was confirmed a month later (which is fair enough, they hard to check many numbers before stating anything), yet I saw and reported on this (as well as my thoughts), having no economic degree, just me as an analyst saw what the press has been ignoring ever since.

One of the more revealing articles was in the Financial Times named ‘UK accountancy watchdog hits PwC with two separate probes‘ (at http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/98e02452-89c8-11e4-9dbf-00144feabdc0.html#axzz3Y3cymr54), which was in late December 2014, after that the news and the hunt for the Priced and watered Coopers stops on nearly all media fronts. I wonder how they pulled that one of. The fact that there is almost no visibility on the two probes is only more cause for concern, but those experts all have ‘something’ to say in this matter. Isn’t it nice that they did not have anything to say, or did not say it out loud before the calamity was seen. All those Tesco projects, ready to roll, not one came with the considerations ‘Tesco is spreading itself too thin‘, which is nice before the fact, but pointless, bordering on clueless after the fact. I especially liked the quote from Mike Dennis from Cantor Fitzgerald, you know, one of those after the facts proclaimers. “We believe Tesco should consider closing 200 underperforming supermarkets/superstores and focus on growing the more profitable remaining 700 stores (excluding Express); in addition, this should also allow for £40m of cost-savings from the closure of a distribution centre“, you see, my issue is twofold.

The first is where the ‘under’ performing line lies. Is underperforming, working at a loss, or at a minimal profit? The reality remains that people need groceries, so if an ‘underperforming’ shop is closed another will open with a different label and now that lost revenue will go somewhere else. My second issue is that 40 million in savings. You see, if those 200 shops are spread all over, that distribution centre will still be needed, even if the amount of stores decreases, someone will need to open a grocery store and this distribution centre could service independent supermarkets to some degree, meaning a small additional revenue. Then we get the second set of debatable solutions “Matt Davies, Tesco’s UK CEO as of 1 June, should consider a further reduction in staff and a significant simplification of central functions and category management. Aldi UK today generates twice the sales per full-time employee compared to Tesco UK and is expected to report higher trading profits“, reduction on staff? Where? You see, it is nice to ‘opt’ for simplification, but in my experience in 100% of the cases, simplification was not a bad thing, but it came at some expense, what is that expense and will it hurt down the line? The biggest fun can be seen when you read the part of Philip Benton. It all reads nice, but the issue I have is at the end in this case. “The retailer is in the midst of a huge restructuring after selling off much of its portfolio including Blinkbox and Tesco Broadband as well as the forthcoming sale of market research unit Dunnhumby and undergoing a complete overhaul of its leadership“, my issue is the possible ‘inflated’ that Dunnhumby represents. You see, it could be regarded as inflated as its value is determined by what the buyers will offer. In the end Dunnhumby represents well over 140 million a year and it also represents undocumented savings. You see, if a lot of the marketing and visibility research is done at market value, Tesco will face that they either deal with additional costs (not small ones) or not do the research. Both are bad ideas. None of these ‘experts’ are looking into the amalgamation of services that Dunnhumby could offer via Tesco and/or for Tesco. Dunnhumby is a massive data warehouse and it should have loads of options. Moreover offering these additional services (in the trend that Google has done with ‘Gmail for work’ could open up new capital gaining opportunities. Now, as the economy is slowly starting over the next 3 years, those who grow could need data insight that is currently available via Dunnhumby. This means financial and revenue growth that shows a healthy future, giving that away in some sale to recoup 2 billion, from a 6 billion loss that was all based upon degraded value seems like a very bad idea to me. Even if most of that 2 billion is recovered, the invoices that follow will put pressure for a larger part on Tesco.

Consider that the interest on 2 billion is 70,000,000, now consider that not only are them making 100 million plus, they are also the centre of data, a place Tesco will desperately need in the coming 2-5 years. Not having it could imply more costings for Tesco. No one seemed to be considering that part of the equation at all.

So, reality now, will stores be closed? That seems unavoidable, yet closing stores also means no more revenue, dumping the location at a loss and a few other items linked to this. Tesco needs to grow again, but the method remains debatable. I would have thought that moving more towards an Aldi/Lidl margin might make a difference, will it be enough? Whatever move it will make, it will need data to support and test the foundations with, so I personally feel that this requires the non-sale of Dunnhumby (for now). You see, I still see the centre with Dunnhumby for another reason. When you look at their site, you see a list of the large corporations, that is all good (and it brings home the bacon), but they are also sitting on loads of Tesco data as well. What if aggregated parts could be linked to small firms, smaller firms who end up with a dashboard solution, where their limited data is linked to that massive Tesco Data Warehouse, where these smaller companies, for a small fee get a dashboard uniting their data with Tesco demographics. Now we have a whole new clientele in a business setting, so before those supermarkets get closed, they should see if a small corner of it could be an added business venture. Likely those prospective clients will be in larger area’s where Tesco remains operational, but we now have an added service and Dunnhumby has an optional new suite (based on for example SAP dashboard) that opens up new ventures and even added consultancy and training. In these times the innovators will cause growth to evolve, selling off things only makes for lost market share (even though some non-profit ventures should always be considered for scrapping).

Are my ideas so outlandish? You must always consider that part, for the simple reason that the sceptical approach causes no harm and the proof that follows will only create futures. The following quote is as old as the hills, so it should not be a surprise to anyone in this field: “Sales will blame Marketing for the lack of quality leads with repetitive precision, whilst Marketing will blame Sales for not acting on the leads on time, or at all. When nobody has any reliable stats to back up their ‘verdict’, the arguments go on forever and nothing gets done”. Now, consider all these new firms, those new start-ups, or just one man companies like for example Electricians, Plumbers and Painters. They have no Sales or Marketing at all in most cases, would it not be nice if they had a simple dashboard based option that can help them focus on where possible opportunities lie? Not to mention usual retail like family bookshops and leagues of small pharmacy places that could do better. The solution I suggested could help them focus on where to look next. The great thing is that for the most, the same basic solution will work for all, they would only need a set of very specific filters in addition to the demographical ones. A solution that could be automated to the larger extent. One simple market, there for the taking. Did anyone consider that?

And as we look into these possibilities, we get back to the beginning, how could all the financial data be so opaque that it escaped the view of PwC, when we look at all these claims by experts, how did none of the warning lights light up, especially when we consider the words of Deloitte “these auditors ‘missed’ it for a longer period of time“, now I have brought you from the premise, past the innuendo to the basic view on how data can be new business too. Finally, when we consider the following quote that was in the Guardian “Further positives include that Tesco did in fact make a bigger trading profit than the market believed was possible (£1.4bn v. £760.86m consensus)“, this reads, they did twice as good, this means that Tesco is getting back on its feet. Yes, I did read that it is less than it was, but still, they got one dot four billion in, which is a lot better than Greece and most traders want them to get 7 billion regardless, so I think we should consider that many are willing to dump 7 billion on a location of non-cooperation, whilst they will drown a corporation fight to achieve and collect ACTUAL revenue. What a double standard we live by!

If we go by the simplest stats (not an accurate one), then we see that Tesco exceeded by £700M, which is 23% of the £3 billion loss, Greece cannot even raise 10% of what is due shortly, so it is time to look at what is real and look at why the press seems to be ‘avoiding’ (read not actively digging) into Pricewaterhouse Cooper either. But I will leave that to what I would currently regard to be the ‘Pussy’ family (Witherow, Rusbridger, Murdoch et al). Should you consider the path I walked here to be ‘inappropriate’ then Google ‘Tesco+scandal+2015‘ (837.000) and Google ‘PwC+scandal+2015‘ (271.000), now look at the amount of Newspaper links we find in the second one (almost none and many of these links are 2014). I think I made my case here, I just wonder what scared the press to this extent away from a story.

So as we see the quotes “Over the full year, the profit margin in the UK was 1.1%, a far cry from the impossible 5.2% that Lewis’s predecessor, Philip Clarke, ridiculously attempted to defend” and “Lewis must show that the ‘early encouraging signs from what we have done so far’ will produce a discernible improvement in profits“, yet no mention on the previous directors, regarding ‘cooking’ the books and still no mention of the Auditor either. It seems that everyone knows that the dice are loaded but no one is willing to say it out loud.

What else is not reported on regarding the 24:1 loss?

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Finance, IT, Law, Media, Politics

Why do we bother?

This article is not for the faint of heart, or for those who ‘believe’ in equal rights. This piece is as misogynistic as it gets, for the simple reason that being nice, being considerate sounds like an idea, but in the end, it seems to me that

  1. No one cares
  2. The prosecuting side of the law at large seems to be ill equipped.

What brought this on?

It’s been going on for a little while. Usually in the form of these ‘innocuous’ advertisements through Facebook linked pages and other sourced forms of mass marketing.

You might have seen them, pictures of photo shopped women, ready and posing to be ‘coitussed’, with added statement like ‘Male Gamers Only‘ (EDGE, by UDM), an advertisement for a game called Wartune, with the ‘warning’ Adult content! It is all promoted by a site called ‘utterlypettable.com’ (one of several places), in this case regarding the 21 most deadly animals. So can anyone explain how a transgression on sexual discrimination is not being prosecuted? Because they are just ‘facilitators’?

It seems to me that those facilitating mass advertising have a lot to explain for. To just get through and to just get the revenue in, they will overlook many issues. Of course these pages are usually linked to advertisements like ‘Hurry before this video is banned‘ and ‘Rich people Do Everything To Ban This‘. I normally ignore them all, but in this light, I decided to take a gander on the idiotic side, which now links to ‘Free money’ sites with additional spamming scripts. The fact that pressing the button to close that window steals the act and forces you to submenus only give way to the dangers that these places present. You see, if they were all on the up and up, they would not resort to these tactics and closing the window would not be hijacked. A world limited to Hijacking and Misogyny. It all goes even further when we consider the damage Facebook is handing out (from https://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/26915213/stop-being-selfish-outrage-over-anti-c-section-facebook-page/). This shows us A Facebook page criticising women who have given birth by caesarean section. How is this ‘freedom’ of speech? So as we see the reasoning for this need, which is “A Caesarean section is often performed when a vaginal delivery would put the baby’s or mother’s life or health at risk“, we should ask how we can condone ‘freedom’ of speech, attacking people for diminishing a person’s health, in this case both mother and baby. Yes, there is a growing concern that more women ask for it and not always is there a health danger, but that is between the upcoming mother and her physician as I see it.  My question becomes, the ‘offender’ known as the Disciples of the New Dawn, how many of them are man and what percentage of this group is female?

At this point I must also illustrate that this is not a new issue. The guardian had an opinion piece in May 2013 (at http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/may/23/facebook-violently-sexist-pages-twitter-fbrape) called ‘Facebook’s violently sexist pages are an opportunity for feminists’, directly stated, not only do I disagree, these pages are a lot more dangerous than both genders realise. When we see eBay pages, selling T-Shirts stating ‘I’m feeling rapey we can honestly state that there are massive issues. The 2013 offensive T-shirt “Keep Calm and Rape A Lot” being the clearest of these transgressions. The article explained on how the automated phrase was in the hands of ‘Solid Gold Bomb’ and as they stated ‘these shirts were computer-generated and we didn’t even know we had a shirt that says that‘. The article does not touch on the part on how the phrases were collected, if we take the logic on the event that the act required someone to type it in, it would take thousands of people to type the phrase to get detected by these algorithms, which means that there is a larger problem hidden behind the issue which was not addressed by the press at large either.

This is partially seen in the UK where domestic Violence is at a massive high. At this point I want to mention an article I mentioned in the past (at http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/feb/13/domestic-abuse-violence-victims-crime-survey-figures). Here we see ‘Domestic violence experienced by 30% of female population, survey shows‘, if this is anywhere near the truth, then tomorrow, when you get into the Underground and look at the women on route to their destination, then consider that over time it is likely that out of every 4 women you see, there is a small chance that one of them has not yet experienced abuse. Now ask yourself if you can live with that number, one out of four!

So when we see Jeri Ryan as the Female Borg, we can consider that being 7 of nine, that she could be one of 7 currently receiving domestic abuse. These are not nice statistics and the failing of the law is getting ever clearer and ever more unacceptable.

All this is propelled from the statement ‘Male Gamers Only‘, one of the most unacceptable calls for a game. I have played online many times, several friends on the multi-player Mass Effect 3 are women and they are quite good too! Games are a great channel, there we need to be part of the pack, part of the group and there the gender, age and religion has no bearing, only that you are part of the team, propelling victory for the entire group. The most unbiased of acts, to be together and just have a fun time. So when we see a T-Shirt stating “You provoked me” and “I was drunk“, we should worry on how this was regarded as ‘freedom of speech’. When we see the dreadful statistics of domestic violence, those ‘slogans’ have no place in this society and merely removing the page from eBay just does not cut it in my train of thought.

So when we see the quote “T-shirts that make a joke of rape are still available, of course, even on the biggest retailer of all, Amazon, but Laura Bates at Everyday Sexism has vowed to keep fighting to stop rape being regarded as a joke, rather than the violent crime it is“, we have to ask more than serious questions, we should ask whether a retailer like Amazon would be allowed to continue to cater to any Commonwealth nation. In my view, removing fields of revenue tends to be a great motivator to start being actually correct (in comparison to being ‘feigned politically correct’).

As stated, these events are not opportunities for feminists, they are just dangerous grounds for additional victims, which brings us to the second part of all this, the act of trivialisation. There are two kinds, there are at times trivialised moments when we have a vocal ‘spas’ with friends, we all say some things that are way outside the realm of politically correct. Men will giggle when we hear (as I did) the words of one woman saying to the other ‘No knickers? Laundry day or lunch with Mr Big?‘ (At Paddy’s market, Sydney). The mention is essential because it is a simple dialogue between two women I passed whilst looking for a polo shirt. Is objectification wrong when female friends do it among themselves? Was there objectification, or was ‘Mr Big’ about to get himself objectified over ‘lunch plus’. I feel unable to answer as there are too many unknown variables. Yet, linked to something I do know is the article ‘If you want to write about feminism online, be ready to take on the haters‘ (at http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/womens-blog/2015/apr/01/if-you-want-write-abaout-feminism-online-be-ready-to-eal-with-the-haters). You see, in my view, the photo is part of the issue. Three women wearing ‘no more page three‘ texts. I for one was never against page three (being a guy and all), but moreover, I always felt that those women used the Murdoch system to hopefully get ahead. Was that wrong? I do not know, but it was their choice to make, just like it is the right of these women to oppose page three. I mentioned the issue before. You see, when we see Keeley Hazell, who became known for working with charities, which include those working for animal rights and breast cancer awareness, we should wonder how bad the act was. There are not too many examples like these, so over 4 decades we can wonder on the numbers of good versus evil, but in my view, it is not about feminism, it is about the causes that matter. I am not convinced that page three led to domestic violence, but all this effort on a page in a paper that has been faltering versus the national issue that plays in more than one Commonwealth nation makes me wonder whether energy and effort are pushed into the right direction. There I have my questions and I am not convinced. The article does mention my feelings in a way when it raises the paragraph ‘There are more important issues to worry about’, which is exactly the issue I have. It is also for that reason that I am such a fan of the effort Emma Watson who is bringing us ‘HeForShe‘. I disagree with The Age (at http://www.theage.com.au/comment/emma-watson-speech-hardly-a-gamechanger-20140925-10lhz9.html), where Clementine Ford (a woman) is stating that it is hardly a game-changer. I disagree, As Hermione Granger she spoke to the imagination and reverence of an entire generation, a generation that now entered the real of young adult. A generation that consists of both man and women. She had an opportunity and she is forging a change from within this generation. That is not ‘hardly a game-changer’, this is huge and as far as I can tell, almost unique in our history, which makes it even bigger. There is a part I feel uneasy about. The quote “Gender inequality comes as a direct result of the enforcement of patriarchal structures. Although men are impacted negatively by it, they are not impacted in the same ways or to the same drastically violent extent as women“, is not wrong, but as I see it, it is incorrect. You see, a lot has changed, many changes that started in the last two decades are now coming to fruition. So as I see some women ‘whine’ about inequality (not judging right or wrong), I see that it is not wrongly seen, but wrongly shown in dimension. At University, now as I complete my Masters in Law, I see that the gender gap is no longer equal, I see that the man are now a minority, moreover, the people becoming partners and the higher echelons of law are slowly being replaced by women, who have completed the journey from legal aid to where they are now. This was not a simple task, these women excelled in law for a long time and now, those women get the positions. This is not a patriarch side, this is an evolving side. Now as the changes come over the next decade, women are more likely to be in charge in many fields, not because they are women, but because over time they had proven themselves to be equals. The second part of the article I disagree with is “Men have always been welcome to ‘participate in the conversation’, most notably when that participation involves action, change and acknowledgement of their own privilege and power“. That was (as I see it) never the case. I remember at VNU (Dutch publication house) that there was a guy who offered several pieces on promoting IT and IT skills for women. He literally got laughed out by those working at the Cosmopolitan editorial. So do not come to me with ‘welcome to participate’, because that was not the case. I am not making a judgment whether the act then was valid or not. Change took a long time and we are not there yet, but the wheel has turned and the acts of Emma Watson and women like her will be essential in propelling it all forward. So as we allow the issues of some advertisements, some T-shirts and on trivialised domestic violence, I wonder what fights still need to be fought.

So in the end, why do we bother?

Because within ourselves we acknowledge that moving forward requires equilibrium and equality, they are one and the same in our mental position and championing this position will end to be good for all. This is exactly why I am all for women in gaming. Not because they are women, but because I want a better game and it has been proven again and again that originality is found when new views are added to the table, in an age of mediocre sequels, originality is the essential ingredient. I look at it from the world of gaming, because I know this world the best, in IT it does not matter what gender the person is as long as there is skill and innovation. The result there is never seen in gender, if you doubt that, then list the names of all who worked on either Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel or Adobe Photoshop. There is the simplest shape of evidence. Here we do not care, who did it, as long as it works, the ultimate equaliser of gender.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Gaming, IT, Law, Media, Politics

Allegiance!

This story took some time; I had to rewrite it after going all misogynistic on Lisa Wilkinson’s ass (almost literally). You see, in hindsight (pun intended), it is all entirely my own fault. I got emotional about emotions, which is pretty fatal at times. I made the number one error, I took at face value what I should not have, we all do this in time, we will all remain to make that mistake, it makes us human. You see, I considered Lisa to be her own brand of Journalist as we see the aftermath of the Martin Place events, which was the biggest error of all. She might have been a journalist at some point, but now she is an entertainer, her reading the news does not make her a journalist, she is reading events on the morning show. So when my stomach turned on her over-emotional dragging event of interviews of the relative of victims, I took out my own dictionary and the initial (never published) article was the result. And in that light, let’s be clear that Karl Stefanovic is not innocent either, he might not have said the words, but sitting next to her, we get that what hits both goose and gander.

Yet, like some, I was able to rectify my views before the damage was done, but it is important to mention the events none the less, because it should affect you the reader too.

You see, we all have an allegiance, and we forget that the Channel Nine Morning Show only has allegiance to the ratings and the advertisers, no matter how they pour that batter, it is all about the money, which takes, as I see it, journalism out of the equation.

So what was this about?

Well, there was a hostage situation in Sydney, which is now taken out of proportions by pretty much any party who gets a say in the word. There is a dangerous precedent here and as I see it, the jo0urtnalistical branch is not standing up to give fair and balanced information. That is weirdly enough done by Russel Brand in ‘Russell Brand The Trews (E212)‘ (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aZ8ZYAvWTxo). When we start relying on comedians to give us actual news, you know that we are all in trouble!

The only issue that Russel got wrong is the response that Rupert Murdoch had, you see, I saw the disgust all over the net, but THIS is the cost of doing business, this is the face of revenue. In addition we see the headlined from the Daily Telegraph and other papers. Headlines are all about the masses who do not read. Now we see issues on bail laws and on hate sheikh. Yet, these places of publication are no longer about true journalism, this is about product that is for sale and it is a lot easier to sell it to an emotional mass, then to a level headed person.

Now, we see how emotions can be used for good, if you doubt that then look at the sea of flowers in Martin Place. People feeling for the victims, it is clean, it is pure, but it needs there, the press is pushing this into new directions. The interview of the partner of the victim was simple exploitation, it might work out for the victim’s partner, and that is fine by me, but I doubt whether he has any personal agenda here, he is getting over a shocking event and within 2 days the press was all over him for a story, which was all presented in the ‘awwwww’ voice of Lisa Wilkinson and that truly got my emotions rolling in a very negative way.

Yet, it does not stop there; there is a lot more, which is why Russel’s video news is such a gem to see. Around 1:50 we see a summary, the man was instable, other decent sources state that he was a self-styled Muslim Cleric, we see the Australian stating ‘he claimed he converted from Shia to Sunni Islam‘, in light of the news, I find any newspaper to be less reliable, but there is a clear issue, why was he painted ‘a terrorist’? It seems Russel had the same question marks I have, but I will take that road further down this story, where I will present the views and you can happily agree or disagree.

You see, here we get the first issue of allegiance. For this we need to look at ‘The silent minutes of the Lindt Cafe siege that beg many questions‘ (at http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/the-silent-minutes-of-the-lindt-cafe-siege-that-beg-many-questions/story-fnl2dlu7-1227161245948). You see, there are many question, but we are asking them in the wrong direction, which links to another article on 10 ‘failures’, which begs many issues to question, mostly the values of the reporter. The first one I have an issue with is ‘FAILED: SAVED FROM EXTRADITION‘, Iran has been seen as a place of inhumanity for a long time and Australia was not sending a person back on the alleged crime of Fraud, into the hands of the Iranian justice system, which has been regarded in more than one instance of being pretty non-existent, but now suddenly it is good enough to extradite a person for? It seems a little double standard to me. ‘FAILED: DROPPED OFF WATCH LIST‘ is the second one. The events in Martin Place were not a terrorist action, not by the standard we need to ‘hold’ terrorism, a hostage situation is an act of terror for the victims, but it is about the agenda of the transgressor. In that light there are two actual groups; Man Haron Monis is part of neither, as I see it.

Let’s take a look at these two groups for the clarity of it all. There is the aligned lone wolf and the non-aligned lone wolf. Now, here is the dangerous quote, by considering, a terrorist to be sane and balanced. They are seen as sane and balanced, as he/she is regarded by the people around them in their day to day dealing with them. They might not be noticed at all, until the penny drops and they go all out and all radical, often these people will have a decent degree, they are educated, but they will not conform to any ‘set standard of life’. In that regard Horst Mahler might be the most famous one of the lot, a man with legal degrees, Social democrat, socialist, he went from extreme left to extreme right, from Rote Armee Fraktion, he changed lanes towards the teachings of Mao towards the NPD. One could argue that it was his need to be in the spotlight, I believe that as his view on the world changed, so did his alignment. It is not clear whether his view in regards to the holocaust denial is anti-Semite in its foundations, or whether this view has other foundations, this article is not about that part and it would take a long time to go over the alleged evidence. In all this, we get a tainted picture form the press at large, in those days, the RAF called the press at large unreliable, what they attacked and what was ‘denounced’ as any truth in regards to the attacks on the Axel Springer press empire, is now to the larger extent known to be an absolute truth, a view that is only enforced by the acts of Rupert Murdoch and his empire of revenue building proclamations of events for profit.

So this non-aligned lone wolf could group with others, but as a singular person he/she is often a lot harder to track and even harder to stop. Even today, the intelligence branch is lacking options to find that person, the issues on data collection that is now being stopped to some extent will only make it near impossible for people to be protected from these attacks.

The second group is the aligned lone wolf. Now we can look at lone wolfs of ISIL, ISIS, Al Qaeda, but also Aryan, KKK and even the IRA. In some cases events by a single person, who idolised a larger group acted out. Even though we see those people as part of that organisation, it is not always a truthful link. Yet as I see it, they ‘believe’ that the view of such a group is the righteous one and as such they act out. This group is easier to spot, but it still requires access to large amounts of data to see whether these people are indeed lone wolves. The additional problem is the lack of data, these people tend to keep a lower profile and as such there is less direct data linking them, most data will be ‘indirect’.

Man Haron Monis is not part of either. He has been seen as self-proclaimed, should be seen as attention seeker that is acting out. The fact that he is painted as a terrorist only makes matters worse. If we paint any person with serious mental health issues with the T-word, we will not get anything done and whatever budget we think we need, will be regarded to be short by 1000% and still not yield resolutions, interestingly enough, I am now seeing a SMH article confirming this view (at http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/sydney-siege-man-haron-monis-humanitarian-and-terrorist-20141219-12ajn5.html). So the second claim ‘FAILED: DROPPED OFF WATCH LIST‘ was more than correct ASIO has other fish to fry, this was a police matter to some extent and until he did something wrong, there was nothing to hold against him.

So back to the list, I am not going to go over all ten, some are too ludicrous to voice, yet this one ‘FAILED: GIVEN LEGAL AID‘ is an issue, You see, in Australia we have legal aid, which is there for all of us, which included him and tax payers pay that bill, for all who need legal aid, so get over it already. By the way, the press at large have been hammering on too little legal aid for a long time, which makes this ‘failure’ valued at the going price of ‘a sizeable giggle’.

The one that really matters is the one they left for the last ‘FAILED: INFORMATION NOT SHARED‘, it is not an issue! Some data is not to be shared and it is safe to say that the press is the least reputable source to claim what needs to be shared (reason to follow shortly).

ASIO and ASIS will have data they do not share, it puts people at risk and it puts operations at risk. We only need to look at the case of Phillip Arantz to see the operational need of not sharing data, which goes into two directions, data that could end up being suppressed and data that could end up being exploited, both would be disastrous for both ASIO and ASIS. In light of Philip Arantz, was Police Medical Officer, Dr A. A. Vane ever held to account by law or by the press? Seems that the press was visibly absent, one could argue that additional investigations would be valid regarding the Crown Employees Appeal Board, there too, a lack of press visibility. At his death the SMH placed 533 words regarding his life, now compare that to the tens of thousands of words a loon with a gun in a coffee shop got, so information should not be shared, as we cannot trust where that information ends up (or not ends up).

As we move back into allegiance, we need to see that the hardest part is that exploitation works two ways, it gets power from events we see as good, like #illridewithyou where the people are acting out to protect the Muslim community form being unjustly attacked and the interviews we see on how sorry we all feel, yet in that second instance we see that there is almost no news given regarding the 132 Muslim children slaughtered by the Taliban in a real terrorist act. How interesting that this news was hardly reported on. Yet, allegiance goes a lot further and is not just about terrorism. You see, allegiance is more and more about big business and advertising.

Whether the story is painted in light of ethicality as we see in FIFA, we must question why certain events are brought forward to such an extent. Consider the updated article ‘FIFA ethics investigator Michael Garcia resigns in relation to World Cup bidding process report‘ (at http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-12-18/fifa-ethics-investigator-michael-garcia-resigns-in-relation-to-/5974852). I wrote about it a few times, when it all started ‘Sacking the editor?‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2014/11/14/sacking-the-editor/) and  ‘Any sport implies corruption!‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2014/03/19/any-sport-implies-corruption/), now we see that the ABC reports on the following parts “Garcia says he lost confidence in the independence of the ethics committee’s adjudicatory chamber following a statement issued by Eckert, based on Garcia’s still-secret report, in November” and “Garcia, who formerly served as chief federal prosecutor in Manhattan, had appealed against Eckert’s statement, saying it contained misrepresentations, but that appeal was ruled inadmissible by FIFA on Tuesday“, so we get intentional misrepresentation as stated by one person. The fact that this report is kept a secret is also a problem, especially in light of the claims by the Sunday Times, who still needs to be held accountable for their statements. We see all matters of allegiance, but allegiance to whom, or to what. Not unlike many, we want to know what is done to us. In a video statement by Joseph “Sepp” Blatter (at http://www.theguardian.com/football/2014/dec/19/fifa-agrees-publish-michael-garcia-report-world-cup-bid-qatar-russia), we see at 1:54, where we hear ‘football is still the game of the world‘. Is it? It seems more and more that football is big business because many watch it. That has been at the centre of all this and as we see statements of misrepresentation by FIFA and the press at large, we must ask ourselves, what games are they playing? That light becomes a lot brighter when we consider the independent article (at http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/news-and-comment/first-coca-cola-now-sony-as-sponsors-turn-their-backs-on-fifa-is-it-finally-game-over-for-the-qatar-world-cup-9882688.html), it seems that the issue (as I reported in my previous blog), diluted return per advertisement as the world cup would be held in Winter, because of temperatures, we see a shift on how some ‘threaten’ to walk away. You see, the stance of Sony is quite nice, but when they are confronted with the danger that FIFA 17 and onwards not getting released on PlayStation as EA could be confronted with Microsoft demanding exclusivity for FIFA games, should they start sponsoring, how many soccer fans would bail on their PlayStation? Let me be frank, there is no evidence that this will happen at all, but is that risk so far-fetched? FIFA games have been going strong since before 1998 on many systems, if PlayStation becomes the one ‘leave one out‘, their advantage will be truly gone and they currently do not have that much advantage left.

So here we see the picture of allegiance, that what we perceive to be (journalists towards their audience) and what it actually is (journalists adhering to the need of big business), yet in that same light we are a slave to the allegiance of our own emotions, that what we fear it is (the ISIS flag in a coffee shop with people under threat of death) and what is actually shown (a black flag with letters we cannot read).

News_GoogleSearch

 

 

When we see that articles are used, and changed (as we see the Google search), then to read the text not to include that part, we see, as I see it, an intent to misinform the public. The press deciding to rely on the push-button called fear to change public opinion, whilst any proper journalist would have correctly reported on the fact that a Shahada flag (the one that was used, apparently comes in two versions, black with white letters and white with black letters, a simple view of contrast. The text is “There is no god but God, Muhammad is the messenger of God“, a simple religious expression, a very Muslim expression. Most of us Christians have so many flags, is it that far-fetched that the Muslims would have a flag? And as we misuse our flags, is it not conceivable that one deranged Muslim would misuse the Shahada? Why was this not clearly mentioned in so many articles?

As I see it, allegiances are here, to some extent they should be here, but the one the press seems to invoke is a dangerous one, especially as they are not held to any account for the proclamations they make in light of ‘the people have a right to know‘, to some extent they do, yet they also have ‘a right to not be misinformed‘, a part that many players remain silent on.

Where do you stand, and what is your allegiance?

 

1 Comment

Filed under Law, Media, Military, Politics