Tag Archives: Spain

The second lap

We always seem to have a problem with the second lap, the first lap is OK, it is new, we just started, it is the second lap that is the problem, it is that stage where you are tired from the previous lap and the second wind has not started, mainly because the second lap is not the moment where the body adjusts for prolonged exercise.

That is how some see the EU at present (mainly the Observer). The setting of ‘the EU’s weakness on the world stage‘ is however no laughing matter. As we are introduced to “Ursula von der Leyen believes Europe should take a leading “geopolitical” role in international affairs, reflecting the EU’s status as the world’s largest trade bloc. But turning words into deeds is proving problematic“, and it is “We must use our diplomatic and economic strength to support global stability and prosperity… and be better able to export our values and standards” that is part of the problem, in the first, the EU is su up to the gills in debt through the idiotic scheme by Mario draghi that the EU has no economic strength. The IMF gives the EU in GDP growth 2.8% (2017), 2.2% (2018), 1.5% (2019), and 1.6% (2020). This seems like an improvement, yet 0.1% increase is not really an increase and when we consider that the devaluation of the currency gives the EU debt that is currently around € 10,593,000,000,000 a much larger issue to battle, at present only the German debt is decreasing slowly, but the debt in Spain, Italy, and France (all in the trillions) is still increasing, so where does the EU think it has economic strength? And all this whilst the Financial Times informed us yesterday on ‘Europe braces for new fiscal battles‘, here we see Paolo Gentiloni trying to shake things up (no idea why he was referring to shaking up). The issue is larger than anyone can see, because the stage of “widely disliked given their impenetrable and convoluted nature“, the game where you adjust the rules in the middle of the game with 27 players, the entire stage goes awry in this game where the option of “On the Italian social democrat’s reform wish list will be changes making the rules more symmetrical — allowing for countries to be pushed to boost their economies via fiscal policy in downturns, rather than just reining in deficits and debt” (at https://www.ft.com/content/a062fb2e-3b24-11ea-a01a-bae547046735), and it is the debt these never elected officials are trying to be in deny with. Yet there is also an upside in this (as I see it) if this play goes on, the German population will not tolerate the EU to continue. None will address their debt and Germany (as one of the big four) is the only one who got the debt below 72% of GDP, the rest is in a bismal state and whilst we get that the Italians (French and Spain also) are all about ‘new investments’ they are doing it on a maxed out credit card. And whilst we all see this, we also see “One idea is to give countries extra scope to borrow to fund green investment“, yet the basic issue is that this is yet another idea to IGNORE outstanding debts and the people will have to pay for that. So as we see “has already run up against opposition from conservative northern European states“, we see that the Italian factor (Genitoli) is hiding behind “the urgency of the green agenda could improve its chances“. So whilst we now see “Some will want to use any reform opportunity to loosen the regime. Others will wish to use the greater clarity to make the deficit rules even tighter“, we see a basic fight between the spenders and the none spenders and the non spenders have had enough of it all, it founded the Brexit and there are others who do not want to be caught with the consequences of another nation in a stage with their pants down, as such all the other players will have to grab their ankles (you get the idea). 

So while we go back to the Observer view (at https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/jan/19/the-observer-view-on-the-eus-weakness-on-world-stage ) we might see “Trump’s illegal, and unilateral, action effectively blew up the most prized achievement of Borrell’s predecessors, Federica Mogherini and Cathy Ashton – the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, which was already on life-support because of US sanctions“, it seems that the EU is in some kind of a delusional stage where they take the filtered media view on Iran. Iran had been in a proxy war with Saudi Arabia, it has repeatedly threatened the state of Israel and whilst we are given “the US then insisted that the EU3 (Britain, France and Germany) trigger the deal’s dispute mechanism“, whilst the violations by Iran on the Nuclear pact are completely ignored. All in a stage where the delusional parties are setting the stage where Joseph Borell is in a stage to ‘talk’ with IOran whilst Iran has been refusing to do so and littered transgression upon transgression and the EU remains in denial and seemingly gives the EU press the stage that they are not to report on it for all kinds of unknown reasons. And when we look at the media, they are all so against war that it scares them (which it does), I merely wonder if the US and the UK press would have written ‘The Wrong Track for Confronting Germany‘ in 1943, as we see the New York Times write up the Iranian stage 12 hours ago. In addition, Al Jazeera reported 5 hours ago ‘Iran’s new Quds leader vows ‘manly’ revenge for Soleimani killing‘, which is fine, but this escapes the entire stage as they already had their missile go, yet their ego is not satisfied, so as we are treated to ‘Iran warns of ‘repercussions’ for IAEA after European moves over nuclear deal‘, as well as ‘Iran says it still respects 2015 nuclear deal, rejects ‘unfounded’ EU claims‘ (yesterday, source: CNA), all whilst there are dozens of reports as well as public statements that Iran had transgressed on set limits, so exactly HOW they are ‘respecting’ the Nuclear deal? 

In all this the lack of strength in response from the EU has been frightening. And in regards to the responses, we see on the 20th of January “Mr Mousavi said: “Tehran still remains in the deal. The European powers’ claims about Iran violating the deal are unfounded“, all whilst the news on January 5th was ‘Iran will no longer abide by uranium enrichment limits under 2015 nuclear deal‘, as well as the fact that Iran on state television, on January 5th responded that they pulled out of the Nuclear deal agreement (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RsQ-NBaOUMw), as such we can all speculate on what Mr Mousavi is smoking, but more importantly, in light of all this, the utter lack of diplomatic power by the EU, as such the EU statement “We must use our diplomatic and economic strength to support global stability and prosperity“, Ursula von der Leyen sounds nice, but she cannot deliver on any of that. The EU is in the second lap, out of energy from the first lap and their second wind is nowhere near kicking in. Iran might be the strongest example, but it is not the only one, the lack of action in Syria, the lack of action in Yemen and the opposing support against Saudi Arabia, whilst ignoring the actions of Iran in a proxy war, in a speculated stage of a nuclear pact that was not sustainable in any degree and several parties are in denial of all this whilst there is enough optional evidence that the creation of the amounts of enriched Uranium that is now at the core of it all could not be produced by the amount of centrifuges allowed, there are more factors to consider, yet the supporting evidence is at present too thin (a lack of exact numbers is in play too).

In the end, the EU is an organisation that is on its final steps of becoming irrelevant, the debt made them so and these so called elected officials never stepped in when they were supposed to step in as debt levels were pushed to excessive levels as even now, people like Paolo Gentiloni (not just him mind you) are trying to find ways of getting around the debt for spending purposes.

And the matter will get worse soon enough, as the EU nations are in shambles on the EU budget, especially as Brexit is nearing completion, the members are all in a desperate setting of non-union, as we see news like “a French minister has warned nations they will have to pay more“, which is slightly weird as this was always going to be the setting, I warned of that almost 3 years ago. The stage at present is that Germany (at present) pays 20.78% of that budget and France is up for 15.58%, those are the big two and they are looking at an additional 3%-4% after brexit, which now implies that the long term budget up to 2027 will get a massive slam into a wall, it is in that setting, where nations are now feeling the pinch are confronted with a Paolo Gentiloni who wants to spend more and as such all nations have to pay more. Even as the big three are confronted with the impact on their loans from that change, the smaller nations are still in shambles as they were eager to overspend in their first option and they too will have to pay more, so now we optionally get to see an EU gravy train where none of the members agree on anything, as such that expensive train will keep costs high and not produce results, merley delays. 

So when we look at the stage of the EU and the setting of Ursula von der leyen with her “We must use our diplomatic and economic strength to support global stability and prosperity“, all whilst there is no economic power left in the EU and its diplomatic strength (which is linked to their economic power) dwindles basically as fast as their economy does, I wonder what Ursula von der Leyen is looking at, because the outlook from this side is really grim for the EU.

The second lap is the killer for a runner, as the runner gets better he can run longer, yet the reality of crossing that startline the first time and realising that you have less energy whilst you are at the beginning is the realising factor, yet there is a difference, a runner tends to be realistic about where he is and where he is going, as I personally see it, the EU is seemingly a lot less focussed on the reality of the matter as I personally see it. You merely have to read enough media and focus on the quotes to see that part of the equation.

 

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Paranoid

OK, I admit it, I am calling myself paranoid (at present). You see, I have been looking at the news (nearly all news in Europe) and there is seemingly a low creation of rumbles going on. The strongest two are the Netherlands and the UK. The issue is not easy to explain, but I will. Corporations are in a frantic level of actions, Brexit has scared them and the unfolding of the EU is basically becoming reality. In a corporatocracy, that is a scary realisation, but they have an alternative. You see, the balance of the EU is not the nations, it is the two most powerful ones that set this tone. The difference is seemingly small but essential. Any nation can govern by the needs of its corporations, yet a monarchy has the responsibility to take ALL its citizens into account, a lot of issues would not exist if these monarchies did not exist. So the need of corporations is to destabilize and overthrow monarchies. In the end overthrown they might take their value and business interests, and those corporations do not care, they can tighten the screws and focus on the 80% that is consumer, not the 100% that is population. We have seen these acts in the US for the longest time in the Walmart family, not the strongest example, but the most visible one. They have spent well over $4,500,000 this year alone on lobbyists. Firms like the Alpine group, Capitol counsel, Cove Strategies, Ferox Strategies, Mehlman, Castagnetti et al and several more to represent their needs in political Washington. Let’s be clear, they are not breaking any laws, they committed no crimes, the Walton family merely uses the tools available to them to set the premise as powerful as possible towards THEIR needs. This is where the issue become a problem, as a republic driven political might adheres to the needs of a corporation, the people lose. In this the Walton family grows its wealth by a little over $100 million a day, some sources indicate that their total wealth grew by over 20% last year alone. That family has a wealth that puts the wealth of Bill Gates (Software Man), Jeff Bezos (the Amazon Boy) and Warren Buffett (Mr. Investment calling himself the Philanthropist Man) and their wealth combined to shame. That is the impact of a corporatocracy, when the companies rule a nation, their needs are set as the number one, followed by actual consumers and enablers as a second.

Poverty in the US might be the lowest in the last decade, but it is still set to 11.8%, in the Netherlands it is a little below 5%, that is not because the Netherlands is so rich, or their situation is so much better, it is because a monarchy looks at the needs of all its citizens (the rich, the poor the enablers and the non-enablers). So when I see ‘Money is the Achilles heel of a monarchy‘ (at https://www.nu.nl/economie/5991045/de-kosten-van-het-koningshuis-geld-is-de-achilleshiel-van-de-monarchie.html) with mention of Alles samen kost het koningshuis daarmee op papier in 2019 bijna 36 miljoen euro” (All together, the cost for the monarchy are set on paper to be around 36 million Euro). Now in opposition I will throw that Robeco paid a new CEO €30,000,000 annually around a decade ago, so it seems a little farfetched to look at the cost of royalty, and we need to consider that a monarchy comes with cost, it is in part also the cost we pay to keep all citizens safe, in other settings this tends to be the consumers and rich people. 

The second large monarchy is the British one, even as we have a lot more to look at, I will not, yet I will highlight that the attacks on Prince Andrew were more than attacks. It was the need of media to get circulation and in the UK that sells, it is money. OK, I will admit that HRH Prince Andrew received some real bad advice from direction he was listening to, yet beyond that the man is under constant (and not just him in that family) attack, even today I find well over a quarter of a million articles (not just from the UK) with headlines like ‘Who’s your Prince Andrew? Ten signs one of your employees is deadwood‘ (Source: Smart Company, Australia). Titles like ‘surplus prince‘ and statements like “The total number of people in the world who believe his side of this super-creepy story is one. You’d ground your small kid for telling tales like: “I didn’t sweat at the time because I had suffered what I would describe as an overdose of adrenaline in the Falklands War, when I was shot at … it was almost impossible for me to sweat.”“, from my point of view, the royal family is under non-stop attack by the media and haters. In the UK we see optionally one part that is an issue, their Monarchy is a lot larger, yet so is their population, yet the UK is a monarchy, both the Netherlands and the UK would not have made it to the place they are now if they were a republic, that much is almost certain. Europe has other monarchies, There is Denmark, Monaco, Luxembourg, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Spain and the small ones Andorra and Liechtenstein. Norway is not part of the EU, yet they are so close to the Danish and Swedish families that they are part of the problem for corporations. Yet for corporations the Netherlands and the UK are the largest problems, they have strong political ties, they have well organised systems and they both have the ability to limit the actions of most corporations. 

Now, just to be clear, we see the cost of royalty (especially the Dutch one) almost every year (the Dutch are cheap as), yet the underlying story is still within me, there has been a larger attack on royalty in Europe and I personally believe that corporations are fuelling it through their links in the media. The attacks are subtle and for some reason two links I saw earlier this week are no nowhere to be found, the right to be forgotten is seemingly used to a wider degree (my speculation). More important, I believe that the Brexit delivery from Boris Johnson will open up a lot more than just the Brexit, at that point these corporations in denial realise that the overall force of greed will end in 2-3 years and when Brexit is complete there will be a larger need in the EU breaking it up faster. When we see ‘EU ministers opt to continue overfishing, despite 2020 deadline‘, we see more, we see a larger need towards greed and as we read “ministers ignored science and fought bitterly for their own vested interests” we see some of the signs that the EU has ended, the fact that they knowingly, willingly and intentionally ignored “By 2020, all quotas were meant to be based on a maximum sustainable yield – the most fish that can be caught without damaging the ability of the species to recover itself” should be regarded as evidence, I personally stand by my original thought, merely end the lives ot 94% of the global population and the problem is solved (that did not take long did it?) The issue is larger and more complex ad as such my thoughts towards the monarchies can be seen as paranoia. The two nations (UK and Dutch) have all kinds of interactions and even as the attacks on Prince Andrew are actual attacks, they are often done by circulation desperate media, which is still a corporation, but it would be a twisted example. Perhaps I am paranoid, but I feel that there is a larger attack on EU monarchies, I will let you look at the evidence in your own newspapers and tally the articles that are an example. Oh and I am not dismissing the fact that there are other driving factors either, that was shown by the NL Times last April (at https://nltimes.nl/2019/04/15/dutch-royals-less-popular-among-young-people-study). Here we see: “Support for the Dutch monarchy among young people fell sharply over the past years. In 2007, 70 percent of Dutch between the ages of 18 and 34 were enthusiastic about the Royal Family, last year it was only 55 percent, according to surveys by Ipsos commissioned by NOS“, I wonder how the percentages fall when we tae that number and set it in two groups, 17-26 and 27-34. You see until 25 you have no need to take things into consideration (like retirement), after 25 you do and that is when people get to realise that a Monarchy is a larger economic umbrella than a republic is. Yet they also illuminate the other side “support for a republic with an elected president is not increasing much. In 2007, 14 percent of respondents supported the idea of such a government, last year it was 15 percent, according to the surveys“, I reckon that the people realise that their cushy life is over when it becomes a republic, but the Netherlands and the UK are too large spoils of war for the large corporations and it is my personal believe that they will not give up on rich grounds of that nature, the breaking of the EU will force them in that direction soon enough, in that regard I have absolutely no doubt, greed remains an eternal journey.

 

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Rise of the corporatocracy

Yes, there is a lot wrong in the UK, no one can deny this and an election does not tend to be the place to find out what is wrong, we all know that. The politician that kisses the baby on election week might be the one person who hates babies, it is almost a given, even as I illuminated the short sighted blunders of UK Labour, there is no doubt that all parties (i never investigated all of them) have shortcomings and they will all make carefully phrased promises that they can get out of the day after the election. It is not rocket science, they all entertain such paths and we basically live with it hoping that we over time make the right choice. I have always been a tory, yet I had no issues giving my congratulations to Chuka Umanna Yesterday on his LibDems standing which is pretty good. Yet for the most it is a better system that we have in Europe, so as I saw ‘‘Brutal, packed with untruths, uninspiring’: European press on UK election‘ an article (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/dec/12/brutal-packed-with-untruths-uninsipring-european-press-on-uk-election) I saw more, more than the headline and I hope others see it too. 

France

France gave us the quote “Boris Johnson: the liar weakening Europe“, Interesting is it not? ‘the liar weakening Europe‘ is a very distinct setting, a setting that happened BEFORE Boris took his present position, a setting that was decided on by voters and ‘weakening Europe’? Yes that is the worry of the corporations. You see With the UK leaving the EU the debt issues will rise to the top of nearly every nation in Europe, the UK has a much larger role to play and it wanted out. The stupidity of Mario Draghi will continue for at least 2 decades and the media is not ready to unite and state that these procedures and choices were a mistake, not or years. And for the longest time the EU was in a play where delay upon delay could keep the UK in the EU and that is now at an end and France will feel the pain of this decision, all European nations barr Germany, but they will all feel the impact and they are all scared and with them all corporations with European interests, now that the smoke is settling the plays become clear.

Germany

Germany is setting sights on Brexit, they are hoping for a Labour win because Labour is all about remaining in the EU, even as it is voiced as “A Labour victory would be a blessing for the economy. Because in the case of a victory, Corbyn wants to negotiate a ‘soft’ Brexit deal with the EU … which should be better for the economy than Johnson’s comparatively hard Brexit” I foresee a soft brexit claim, then a 180 degree on the exit and then a remain setting.

Spain

Spanish voices for the most seem to take the UK in an age of Trumpism and that is fine, it is not entirely incorrect, here we see the quote “Rafael Ramos, the London correspondent for La Vanguardia, filed a report from Tony Blair’s former constituency, Sedgefield. There he found Labour’s once impregnable “red wall” looking vulnerable, ” I had a similar view on ‘The speculative numbers‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2019/12/10/the-speculative-numbers/) three days ago. and at present the news is coming by that Boris Johnson will attain supremacy (not unexpected), yet also they give ‘Jeremy Corbyn’s election performance will be the worst by a Labour leader for more than 40 years. He will have done worse than‘, I made a similar prediction, although I never made any mention that it would be the worst in 40 years. 

However, the BBC forecast seems to think that it will be CON 368 – LAB 191 – SNP 55 – LD 13. They have much better predictive models, but I am at odds on the results for the LD, Chuka Umana might be the exemption, but I expected the LD to do much better, Yes I predicted a rough exodus of Labour members, yet I expected most of them to go towards an LD environment, not ending up in the CON field. People do not tend to go from Labour to Conservatives and visa versa, in this they would take an alternative and I expected the Greens to be the alternative choice in many cases, yet the numbers do not reflect that at present, and perhaps there will be an alternative reasoning, yet the view that I personally see is not the one that is shaping and of course, I need to ask questions of me and make alterations to me views after that fact. That is what happens, but I do not usually get it this wrong and even as the winner was never really in doubt, neither was the loser, but there is a midsection that (until the full picture) emerges over time and that one I saw change in a wrongful way, I admit that and now I have questions.

Russia

The Russian side is all about the collapse of the EU, they saw that coming and so did a few others, so the quote “Zhirinovsky was probably trolling, but the sentiment is real. Russia has largely welcomed the UK’s exit from the EU as proof that the European project is coming apart at the seams” is not that much of a surprise, we all saw the writing on the walls in Strasbourg

Italy

Here we see ““Socialism or Brexit? This is the Hamlet-like dilemma of the vote in the UK,” wrote Enrico Franceschini in La Repubblica on Thursday“, it is an important view, the Guardian is right, I never looked at it that way, but the danger of a two pronged solution and a polarisation of socialism versus reality is pretty much the core for the UK in the next 4-7 years. i voice it that way because the UK coffers are empty, there is a near immediate collapse of the NHS and the consequence is a struggle with socialistic views versus the reality that will bite everyone, there is no denying it and it will bite for at least 2-3 years, the fact that it will end the EU will also make for new truths to bare out, the EU is in a worse state and when that gets out the UK path will make sense and the EU will be in denial for a long time, its laws not ready to deal with Greece, with the debts of Italy and a few other things will surface, that reality will show the power of Brexit and corporations are afraid, their numbers and predictions will go straight out of the window, at that point the debts of the US and Japan will become very real. Their cushy jobs and fat paychecks end, it scares any board of directors based in the US, their life within the land of ‘milk and honey’ will become the sustenance of ‘water and bread’ that they pushed upon many others with the greatest of ease.

Netherlands

The Dutch view is echoes via the NRC, who has a flair for the dramatic, so when we see their quote ““poor on substance and rich in empty rhetoric” for an election that “could change the course of Brexit, and the country”” we see an actual truth, it is the reality TV of politics and it has been blazing for 12 weeks 24:7, I am not surprised to see this. I just now see the message (8 minutes ago) that Jo Swinson will lose her seat to the SNP representative, OK, it shows the growth for the SNP, yet I feel a little sad for Jo Swinson, she achieved a great deal for the LD in such a short time. We also see here that the LD will win 13 seats, that is more like it! I expected the LD to be a much larger winner, yet it could be a stepping stone for the LD for the next election, Labour is unlikely to fall into any line within the next three years, the could still remain the larger loser in the next elections, they only have Jeremy Corbyn to blame and he will get blamed, make no mistake on that. 

Scandinavia

They (the Guardian) and I might have left Scandinavia for last but they do bring an interesting point to the table. With “Sweden’s Svenska Dagbladet described a country hopelessly split, and in multiple directions, leaving many voters facing “an impossible choice. How is a Conservative who wants to stay in the EU supposed to vote? Or a social democrat who believes Jeremy Corbyn is a leftwing extremist?”“, it was a fair point to bring, as a conservative I had no issues, it would all result in a stronger win for the Tories, yet I expected that some of those views would be the stuff for the LD to hunt for and bring those people into the LD field, apparently not enough was done there. Basically they all agree that the views in the UK are polarised, yet none of them take a deeper look at why they are polarised. The Greek setting changed EVERYTHING, without it Nigel Farage would never have sought the limelight, the EU through indecision only had itself to thank for that, the irresponsible spending by Mario Draghi (€ 3 trillion) is a much larger setting and whilst the EU went into managed bad news forms, we see a much larger failing in the EU, Farage started something that the people accepted, the EU is a waste of too many resources and the corporations paid to fuel it all are now in a desperate setting to avoid what comes next. Or did you think that a gravy train fuels itself? 

The UK is in a stage where it is almost desperate to seek its voice whilst the choir of 27 other voices are drowning out national needs. And when the UK does move, you will see a changing picture overnight of EU nations with towering debts, when the UK is no longer part of that, the debt stage will change and it will impact everything, that is the part that others seem to ignore, debt was, debt has been, there is no debt tomorrow, that is the wrong thought, debt must be repaid and when the UK leaves the debt picture changes and some banks will seek early payment on several debts. that is the reality of what they face. 

All this whilst the votes are still being counted in the UK.

I expect the managed bad news cycles to continue in Europe for a few days, the UK will have to lick its wounds, the Tories are up 51 seats (a lot more than I predicted), Labour is down 71 seats (I expected less worse) yet the confounding truth is that LD did not do as well as I expected. The stage is changing even further, as the WP gave us ‘Trump caves again to corporate lobbying pressure as he flip-flops on flavored e-cigarettes‘ (at https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/paloma/daily-202/2019/11/18/daily-202-trump-caves-again-to-corporate-lobbying-pressure-as-he-flip-flops-on-flavored-e-cigarettes/5dd2377d88e0fa10ffd20edd/), we see that corporations are stronger than ever, even as it is given in the age of Trump, ther power came from the last 3 administrations, those corporations are in the know in how much dangers they are as their votes are on consumerism and debt, debt they need to see continuing and that is now in danger, the UK elections is polarising that part of all this right now. And the part where we see this come to light was given to us almost two weeks ago when we were given ‘12 EU states reject move to expose companies’ tax avoidance‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/business/2019/nov/28/12-eu-states-reject-move-to-expose-companies-tax-avoidance), the article mentioned Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta, Cyprus, Latvia, Slovenia, Estonia, Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Sweden and Croatia. And only mentioned Sweden’s express view “its government feared that the directive might water down their higher standards on transparency“, which entirely different from Ireland where we saw that the IFAC (Irish Fiscal Advisory Council) warning its government “the country’s economy has become so reliant on taxes paid by multinationals that half of all of corporate taxes paid in the nation come from just 10 global companies“, 10 companies setting the taste of 50% of all corporate taxation, so for those doubting the stage I had on Corporatocracy, consider the 12 countries blocking the view we would get and why. Although in this instance the 11 (taking out Sweden) is almost 50% of the entire EU, and corporations have a lot of power, also in the 15 not mentioned. Do you still think that the entire UK exit from the EU was a simple clear cut problem? I never claimed that, but I did make the claim that the UK is better out the EU than in and this election is the first step in completing that part, corporations be damned!

 

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Is it progress?

We have at times a fair feeling of what costs are required in any business, we are at times a little off, we are at times a little bemused, but what is the feeling that people got two days ago when the Financial Times gave us ‘Europe’s banks slash 60,000 jobs as outlook turns negative‘? The story (at https://www.ft.com/content/e17ee0f2-183b-11ea-9ee4-11f260415385) seems to hand over another part of a story, but not the one that is out in the lighters. When we are confronted with ‘European bosses have been left with little option but to slash tens of thousands more jobs to try to address their chronically poor profitability‘, we might think that banks are unprofitable, yet the entire debt issues seemingly takes that out of the equation. When you look around in your area, are there more banks or less banks? There is another side, any debt driven errors and system malfunctions are now clearly in the hands of the banks, this means that THEY must give rise to repairs, to paying for the issues at hand and they are not allowed to pass these costs onto the customers. You see 60,000 jobs are ‘suddenly’ regarded as ‘poor profitability‘. It seems that the data dimensionality of banks is almost literally set to ‘profit through inactions‘ and as such they must pay for the blowback because inaction is never a cause of non stop profit.

So when we see: “lenders across Germany, UK, France, Spain and Switzerland have collectively announced more than 60,000 jobs cuts this year” and we investigate the stage, we would come to very different conclusions. Yet the picture is not that clear, the graphics that the article show, an image that include those trading below book value and those above book value gives a different picture, it shows a remarkable group of European and Rest of World banks trading below book value, so they are trading at a loss, which is of course debatable at the best of times. In that group we find ING, HSBC, Deutsche bank, Santander and a few others, the question becomes, why were they allowed to trade below book values in the first place? and it opens up a can of worms on several sides. As such we see a repetition of the Dutch bad bank issues when we are confronted with “resulting in 18,000 job losses and the creation of a new “bad bank” to dispose of €288bn of unwanted assets” Yet what happened to the commissions of hundreds of staff members as close to a third of a trillion is not returned? We merely see banks that wanted to look good whilst there was no reason to see them as good, so as such “chief executive Christian Sewing announced a retreat from investment banking over the summer, resulting in 18,000 job losses” makes me wonder about the levels of stupidity allowed at Deutsche Banks, does that not count for you? I wonder if we get an article on just how much the bunglings of Christian Sewing got him paid, in base income and bonuses. The fact that Deutsche Bank is losing one in five jobs is a larger issue, the idea that one in five jobs are lost in a bank shows that they have been playing the numbers and in all this europe will see another wave of bank responsibility whilst it is done AFTER the fact, so why was the EU not on top of this? And people complain about me mentioning the entire EU gravy train, I reckon that this example should set the straight, the EU have been facilitating to a much larger degree and the taxpayer gets to pay the bill, or did you think that shoving ‘a new “bad bank” to dispose of €288bn of unwanted assets‘ was done for corporate responsibilities. 

It gets to be a lot worse, Moody’s which does not have the greatest reputation when we look at financial meltdowns is stated to have said “Moody’s, which this week changed its outlook for global banks to negative from stable, warns that the “profitability gap between euro-area banks and global peers will widen further” in the medium term despite the large headcount reductions” yet when we mull over the numbers (Deutsche Bank with one in five jobs lost) gives out a whole different stage when we are confronted with “this week changed its outlook for global banks to negative from stable“, all whilst the numbers show that this was a flaw in the making, months in the making, as such it makes Moody’s a joke, not a reporting entity.

So all in al it is not consolidation, but a lack of oversight that is causing additional pain to the industry, I wonder how long it will take the other newspapers to catch on, and this is not limited to banks, this will take on a larger role all over Europe. Yet the gravy train will ignore the pains and it will support its own interests through recommendations.

 

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The tradesman and the deal

Yes, we all have moments where a deal didn’t sound great, but the way it was brought was essential when the deal was there ready to be signed, the deal was accepted, not because of the deal, but the tradesman involved had brought it in such a way that the deal sounded too great to pass up. We have seen several of these events in the past, it is the literal event where the numbers do not add up when the analyst brings the ‘good’ news, but the diplomat was able to swing it to the direct event where all were looking forward to the fringe benefits that this deal brought. That is how I saw the Nuclear Deal, and one day after April 1st, the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) was ready for signatures on April 2nd 2015. Now that the deal is up in smoke we look towards the people setting up the deal, but they are no longer there, there is merely the JCPOA and the Iranian party has decided to walk away from it, already in a stage where several parts have been transgressed upon, but diplomats state “be not afraid, we are on top of it, the injunction is minor” (in various publications in the last 3 months), meanwhile Iran has announced (or was that a promise or a threat) that they are about the increase tenfold the Uranium enrichment process. Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of Iran’s atomic energy organisation has made the statement that enrichment is now up to 5kg per day, up from 450g less than 60 days earlier, also , the Guardian (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/nov/04/irans-production-of-enriched-uranium-rises-tenfold-in-two-months) gives us “It is not clear how the European Union will react to the latest step, but so far the EU has not put the whole nuclear agreement into review, which would be the first move towards its suspension and possible collapse“, the diplomats are not home, they are out and about on a golf course, on a sabbatical and on long term travels where they are not to be reached, no one wants to touch the toxic agreement, no one wants their nae connected to this, it is the deal that is bringing direct danger to the State of Israel and to the safety of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, so whilst Anna Ahronheim gives us in the Jerusalem Post ‘EU Parliament Members: Support Israel In Fight Against Hezbollah And Iran‘, we seemingly forget that the term ‘EU parliamentary‘ is transient and above all, the 8-person delegation (four MEPs and four European Parliament policy advisers) are close to a joke, 4 MEP doubled by policy advisors are out and about stating (well sort of) ‘We support you against Iran‘, you see 4 out of 751 MEP’s is not much, did they bring the combined voices of 442 coalition members? I do not think so! You see the EU needs to look important, so they keep their options open with Iran and the problem here is that the moment Iran acts with their enriched Uranium, the EU is less than likely to do anything, Iran has oil and the EU needs it, the chance of Iran acting out against Israel is a lot higher than Iran acting out against the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the chances of Israel being a first strike victim just went up tenfold. The same can be said for the article by Yonah Jeremy Bob, also in the Jerusalem Post, there we see ‘Iran-Us-Israel’s 40 Years Of Hostility With No End In Sight – Analysis‘, a definite truth, but here too it is all about hostilities. And the quote “One would think the US’s greatest hostility would be for a country that killed 58,000 of its soldiers and that Israel’s greatest hostility would be for a country that killed more than 2,500 of its soldiers in a single war“, but that is not where its at. And he danger is perfectly voiced in one paragraph: “Ironically, 40 years later, it is Iran that is the lasting threat against Israel as many of the moderate Sunni Arab countries are trying to find ways to live a stable coexistence with Israel, even if there is not yet formal peace with some of them” and that is where the danger lies. The two quotes ‘to find ways to live a stable coexistence with Israel‘, as well as ‘even if there is not yet formal peace‘ these two events are the heart of the matter, Iran is not interested in peace with Israel, Rouhani might be president, but he does not represent the Iranian Clergy or the Iranian military, they both merely allow Rouhani to be where he is and they both want to finish off Israel, and remove the power that KSA has, in that order, as such events are required and Iran is on track with it as Uranium enrichment is now allowed by the EU and the US is nowhere to be seen, merely in a stage where they think that more economic sanctions work, in an age where the half time of security is far below the half time of Uranium, and Iran has its targets set. And ever after the first strike on Israel there is EVERY CHANCE that the EU will not harshly react against Iran, they are knowingly selling Israel down the drain to ensure Middle Eastern Oil agreements with ALL OPEC nations, I wonder when the people will figure out that the EU is nothing more than a sheep’s rug that is not being used, it is merely there to give the large corporations the stick they need to deal with individual European nations, it is the result of becoming a corporatocracy.

The corporatocracy wants to find some level of solution, but then we are shown “Europe has made promises to find ways to circumvent the US sanctions“, it was the latest in folly’s, all doomed to fail, corporatocracy on one side, ego on the other, did you actually think that there will be a solution? Even as we see ‘French president Emmanuel Macron’s efforts to set up talks between Iran and the US to break the impasse‘ in the meanwhile the dangers are growing to dangerous levels, because of the Iranian acts, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has no options but to find an equal stick to work with and that is where the Russian and Chinese connections become important to the KSA, one of them has to hand over the technology and that will be the beginning of the end of the EU, because the most prevalent of all reasons are ignored, Israel might seem far away, but they are at the Mediterranean, and any explosion there will give particles all over that sea, optionally directly endangering Cyprus meaning that the radiation is already on European soil, in addition to that Turkey will see the impact and the SE of the Mediterranean will optionally become uninhabitable or fishable.

Yes, that is the direct impact we are looking at and the corporatocratic security that the EU relies on will now be a feigned form of apologies and when the Diplomats wake up it will be too late. That is the direct danger we face and at that point the people get to rely on denials from politicians who proclaim to be working for them. Good luck with that!

We can argue about the validity of the JCPOA and hat nuclear deal, but the direct show-able danger is that Iran has increased its nuclear actions by 1000%, whilst there are no power plants requiring this, do you need a road map to figure it out?

If politicians do not hand over a template of actions within the next 48 hours, to time will have come for citizens to act and ensure that some level of quality of life continues, and for those who are in doubt of it, consider looking at your map, at any map that includes the Mediterranean. Israel is in the SE corner, with radiation having no other course to go but west, the tides will change where that radiation ends up, it includes Greece, Crete, Italy, Spain and the most expensive parts of France (Marseille) as well as Monaco, It will take a while for radiation to move through the waters to those parts but once the radiation is in one part, there is no denying it, it will get to those parts as well. So how irradiated will you like your fish to be when you eat it? Perhaps you like your Paella to glow in the dark when you have dinner at 22:00 in Barcelona.

Feel free to think I am merely having a sense of humour, but that first explosion will be the instant that life in Southern Europe will end and the EU parliament is letting it happen, so what are their priorities? Where are their priorities?

As I personally see it the time to be nice to Iran is over, it has been for a while now and the idea to play ‘soft kitten’ games with someone who is rejoicing on their enrichment program to be 1000% of what it was 60 days ago is not the way to go.

 

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Mad(e) in Sweden

We have seen the news for weeks now on how one activist named Greta Thunberg, one activist who will be exactly 201 months old in 3 days is shaming politicians all over the world on environmental issues, and she is 100% correct. Even now as I see how she privately met with Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau and how she is urging to do more for the environment, the media is eating it up and spewing how one girl is fighting the established order like David met Goliath, yet that is not what is in play is it?

When we see the tweeting sarcasms giving us ‘Make America Greta Again‘, we see what happens but we ignore the issues at hand; as does the media to the largest degree. In all the news articles I read there is one massive part missing, one part that is at the foundation of environmental failure, from Southern California to northern Canada, from the East of China to the West of Russia, they all accomplish the not mentioning of the one element that has been the foundation of this failure.

The non-politicians

We see that the noted climate change sceptics are all doing someone’s biding, yet we do not see who they are ‘fighting’ for. We have entered an age of Corporatocracy, they are the powers in the US, in Canada, and they seemingly have the largest sway in France, Germany, Italy and Spain. They have large footing in most monarchies and for the most they have a larger iron grip in Russia to the degree we never fathomed. Through Corporatocracy the growth of billionaires has never been stronger and they want their wealth and they need it to keep on growing. Over the last 8 years their combined wealth went from $2 trillion to $8 trillion whilst the amount of billionaires dipped a little, it is harder to enter that pool whilst those in that pond are growing fatter day by day, in that pool the premise of environment has no hope of survival and until these governments take back the power from these corporatocratics and give it back to the people and the established order there will be no change, it will only get worse.

The fact that the EU gravy train can continue almost completely unhindered is evidence still to a failing much larger that anyone fathoms and as these corporations are shareholders, stake holders and advertisers, the media will only respond to actions that the controlling corporatocratics find acceptable. That is the failing in this entire matter and the fact that the media is ‘catering’ to her is only a viewpoint towards populist stages that are under control of the corporations, it will instil them to make ‘environmental’ donations, but only as long as it can be wielded as a form of advertisement and exploitation down the road. For them it is a double whammy, because Greta Thunberg is doing the right thing and she is fighting all the right windmills, as she is seen as a larger greater good, the people will herald her, yet in their hearts they know that almost nothing will come of it. For the ruling of Corporatocracy is bound to the needs of Wall Street and surpassing those set markers. As they play their games they basically surpassed the Gnomes of Zurich, the Swiss bankers that dictated economic policies for decades, yet as economic dictates moved more and more towards Wall Street and as the Gnomes of Zurich revoked their legendary discretion matters we see that Wall Street becomes the more powerful voice and without the balance that the Gnomes of Zurich brought to some degree we see that only the bottom line remains, a bottom line that is about profit and set on a stage of ‘contribution’ (a better stage of profit metrics), as such the environmental stage was mostly removed and in Sweden it is still at an all-time high because monarchies are about the whole nations, not just the actual consumers and facilitators, like New Zealand their environment needs are among the highest. So whilst the Guardian (at https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/sep/27/greta-thunberg-justin-trudeau-meeting-climate-strikes) gave us: “I really believe in Greta’s movement. She is doing amazing things and it’s great that she’s able to press politicians to act on climate change, during an election“, the quoted was 13 year old Annabelle Vellend, the reality is that whatever gain she makes, it will be small and optionally overturned within 2-4 years. In the end when it crosses the needs of Wall Street hard choices will have to be made and in that stage there is a close to 100% certainty that the environment loses.

That is the reality of the matter and the media knows this, they merely like to sprout the fairy tail (pun intended) and when that tail gets shortened it was not due to a young lady of 200 months, it was merely the heart of the economic matter, yet it will be voiced in such a way that it still reads lovely, because that is how the shareholders, stake holders and advertisers need it to be, and as long as the corporatocratic engine is not shown in the out and open this game continues.

In the end Corporations will claim that the desire from Sweden was nice, but in the end not attainable, it was mad to think it ever was, when you see those words consider who you elected and who they enabled in the process, it does not matter which side you elect, corporations have elected beneficiaries on both sides of the political line, it makes continuation a certainty. And whilst we see the positive spark of ‘planting of 2,000,000,000 trees‘ consider what some forests will be valued at for cutting in 3-5 years, and who gets that profit?

In the end this is not a failure of Greta Thunberg, it merely shows the world where the media is at, did you consider that part of the equation?

 

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Predictive Analytics or crystal ball?

We all have these moments, we all have that limelight moment that is all about the lights and not the lime; or better stated, in this world where about 23 people pointed at me, making me sound like an evangelist who is casting the bones, calling me tainted by the Afreet. They all stated that delusion was my middle name, to them today I say; ‘Hah!

The Arab News about an hour ago (at https://www.arabnews.com/node/1553251/saudi-arabia) gives us ‘Saudi Arabia’s SAMI, Navantia in SR3.7bn military deal‘, which represents a few coins less than a billion dollars in green US pieces of paper, now gives us that “SAMI Navantia Naval Industries (SAMI-Navantia) signed a SR3.7 billion ($986 million) contract with Spanish shipbuilder Navantia to collaborate on combat system integration (CSI) on the Avante 2200 corvettes for the Saudi navy“, whilst on September 1st (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2019/09/01/change-is-coming/) where I wrote “SAMI has the option of building space well over 5 times the combined spaces that Damen, Spanish Navantia and Dearsan combined have. It changes the equation a fair bit“, in response to “As the links with Navantia matures, we see the option to cater to the needs of coast guards on several national levels and these are not the small players. Some might have noticed the small mention of ‘Offshore Patrol Vessels Market 2024: New Business Opportunities for Manufactures to Upsurge in Coming Years‘, yet Navantia and therefor SAMI are in the thick of that part of the equation“, 11 days later I would be proven correctly and this is just the start for SAMI. I understand that some might unite under the expression of ‘one Swallow does not a summer make‘, but the setting of preparation was too large, too much effort had been made in several directions by Saudi Arabia and a few foreign interested parties. More importantly, the EU gravy train decision makers have been taken out of the equation. As I see it, it is merely the first of several new ventures that we will see happen and each success is an almost guaranteed stage towards the follow up job which will be substantially larger than the previous one. It is here where we see what Walid Abukhaled, Chief Strategy Officer at SAMI, as well as Dr. Andreas Schwer, CEO of SAMI are capable of when two visionaries unite in a view that has a similar direction. One would consider that it feels really good being His Excellency Ahmed Al-Khateeb this week in light of these successes, yet they are not merely successes, they are the beginning of milestones that thrust the abilities and capabilities of SAMI forward. The data was decently clear on that. It was not merely their ability, it was the hindrance that Heckler and Koch, Farbique Nationale Herstal as well as BAE Systems are finding operating under EU procedures, all whilst the procedures are nothing short of hypocrisy in the first place; a stage of what some call holier than thee ideology. I get it, there is nothing wrong with something like Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT), yet it can only work if it is balanced and it is not, so now they merely achieved in losing commerce for the UK (and parts of the EU). There is nothing wrong with ideology, but if it is not dipped in some level of realism, they will do more harm than good. You cannot act in one direction and after that refuse to hold Iran to account who has been visibly ignoring and shunning agreements, and these pressures are also being applied by Turkey on other fronts, all these pressure points result in turmoil and stress and the market will respond to the needs of other governments requiring the hardware to do something about it, the SAMI deal might merely be the first deal for the Saudi Navy, but there are two parts there, first the Saudi Navy is growing, second is that once the knowledge is implemented other orders can be completed as well and it is that second part that will matter even more, as the governments require additional value out of their vessels, Navantia, if SAMI delivers could get a lot more value out of their Life Support services department and these overhauls add a lot of value, which works for SAMI as a facilitator as well. In this Navantia will get the stage of upgrading and give additional services to the preventive maintenance and remote technical assistance divisions of their yard. And it is more than facilitation for Saudi Arabia, as its knowledge of logistics is applied. Whilst we think that there is no news under the sun when it comes to predictive models to support strategic purchases, and optionally scripted and tested Machine Learning techniques to expenditure control and collaborative development with suppliers through common digital platforms most do not realise that in shipping it is very different from other industries. There are external inhibitors (weather) there are operational inhibitors (idle time) and logistical inhibitors (active manpower/resources), all stages on 2-3 levels that other industries never had. It is like Google being baffled by their answer of ‘What is Standard Deviation‘, whilst the answer does not compute with the customer who knows it to be: “the angular difference between magnetic North and the compass needle due to nearby sources of interference such as magnetically permeable bodies, or other magnetic fields within the field of influence“, it is there and the fact that the answer differs on the other side of the equation where we see a mismatch of standards and concepts. Whilst we laugh away the difference, some might realise that 2 miscommunications is enough to lose out on a billion dollars and then the life aquatic is no longer a simple comedy with Bill Murray, the stage of global maritime needs has changed and changed differently from most other industries. Navantia and a few other players have remained on top of it (as well as a few other serious players), it is here where we also see larger failings. We might see growth in a report like: “LNG Bunkering will register a 65.2% CAGR in terms of revenue, reach US$ 24400 million by 2023, from US$ 1200 million in 2017“, and that report might be completely correct, and now, even whilst I have not looked into that report (as it is not important to this article), how does that growth and equation impact idle time? Anyone who ignores idle time also ignores any captain confronted by it. when we consider “new mega-vessel, more capacity and a tremendous effort to improve competitiveness and efficiency are now hand to hand with a new collaborative mind-set, involving new technology to enhance connectivity that leas the seaport supply industry to the future” we accept a growing industry, yet the premise of “Idle time at waterside (arrival and departure), constitute 38 per cent of the total port stay for a container ship, which cost billions of USD per year to the shipping lines“, we get this from Ruben F, in his thesis ‘Identification And Measurement Of Idle Times Port Visit Of Container Ships Through An Explorative And Simulation Study: The Case Of Algeciras’s Terminal‘, his advisor was Jalal Ashayeri, PhD. It is in this document where we see: “The latest news is that in 2019 NYK line will test a crewless container ship from Japan to North America (BloombergTechnology, 2017) . This is not the only carrier working in this new technological model for container ship, however the future for in this industry is still being unwritten“; there is nothing wrong with the quote, yet everyone forgets that every harbour has one darling limit, the amount of berthing space available and when we consider that dangerous cargo is a second limitation we see a larger windfall for SAMI, because weapons (specifically ammunition) is a Class One dangerous cargo, which now also means that whenever a government upgrades its navy there is a shift in what is available, and therefor pushed idle time by a lot, consider ANY harbour and consider that due to government upgrades two berthing spaces are lost due to naval upgrades. Not every navy has its own long term harbour space at times; now consider the impact on idle time and having the software to manage that more efficiently, that is where Spain and Saudi Arabia get the larger windfall down the road, not merely implementing, but managing logistics and operational options through consultants and remote servers. What some saw last month is the ‘claim’ of cyber warfare capabilities was shy of one element. The element of cyber logistics and cyber upgrading as a facility becomes more and more important, especially when you realise that those in that field have little to no experience with naval logistics and what makes naval logistics a lot more different (as well as complex and difficult) from other logistics. Most of them have no experience with idle time algorithms. That oversight might make some people run to books and learn, but unless you have the knowledge of a harbour master with added quarter of a century experience you lose out, plain and simple, Navantia has that (as do some others) yet the larger group is absent that knowledge and this is where SAMI gets the added benefits down the road.

And that makes sense how?

Well, for that we need to realise that several sources mentioned almost a month ago that in the EU (Spain was separately mentioned as well) that there is a ban on double trucks and that these trucks are given the limit of double tractor-trailers to 63.5 tons or less. It gives a larger rise to capacity problems in harbours, even as some hide behind safety issues like in “There is insufficient rail capacity, and “we would have to bet on the growth” of rail if double tractor-trailers disappeared, according to the proposal, which suggests that weight reduction would improve safety“, to me it seems that there is a larger growing capacity problem and the speed that the lack of capacity is growing at is also worrying, the ships have grown a lot bigger and whilst harbours were deepened in many parts, the amount of berthing spaces (as well as cranes, and its capacity) have not improved in a decade, this now implies that ships are docked longer, it pushes idle time by a fair bit and in all this, ships require upgrades. So when Navantia gets the added SAMI capacity to do things faster, optionally having access to Saudi berthing locations, the two together will make for additional growth options for SAMI, that part was already clear on September 1st to me. My undergrad was in ships engineering and even as I never worked in that industry (IT was too appealing) I do know what impacts there are and I do see where SAMI could be heading. There are over a dozen governments all wanting to upgrade their navy, whilst the resources and skills are almost universally lacking. I think that this Union with Navantia and SAMI will spell a lot more options than anyone realised.

The fact that the US was eager to add Australian BCT to its resources shows just how short the supply is, it is not merely cyber defence, electronic warfare, technology, and intelligence. There is in the naval sense a lack of ICT solutions to a much larger degree, it is the combination that is hard to find and some solutions are antiquated to say the least. Most IT people always thought of naval cyber needs to be too mundane or too unappealing which resulted in a maritime applicable shortage in several nations. Navantia recognised that weakness for the Spanish navy two decades ago and it resulted in a Combat Management System (CMS) called SCOMBA, now that SCOMBA is highly sought after in many places and there we see the applicability that goes beyond the Spanish navy, as the links with SAMI deepens we see that Navantia has a product that has appeal to several allied players and Navantia via SAMI gets to upgrade the facilitation that it internationally has without losing ownership of its IP, which in this day and age seems a lot more important than it was a decade ago.

Should you doubt this, you could always try the $12.99 solution (at https://www.amazon.com/Amlong-Crystal-Including-Golden-Package/dp/B005DK1AQU) and see how fast you could unload one container with 21500 kg of IMCO 5.1 at Singapore harbour, I wish you a lot of luck and fair weather handing that information over to the captain of whatever SS Minnow he is in charge, I dare you to end that conversation: ‘Get it done today, or else‘, I will be selling popcorn with a big smile and a loud laugh at that event.

 

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