Tag Archives: Statista

Capone Syndrome

There is a larger concern in the US today (yesterday too). I have always lived by the premise that guns do not kill people, people kill people. I still live by that believe today, even as people all over the planet cry that guns are the problem. In the UK we see: “There were 726 homicides in the year ending March 2018, 20 more (3% increase) than in the previous year“, which is fine, you can a person with a knife as terminally concrete as a gun can, you merely have to move up close and personal to do so.

Yet that does not explain the American numbers and I accept that. When we consider ‘17,284 reported cases of murder or non-negligent manslaughter in the United States‘ we see that there is a much larger problem in play. Yet there is also the stage that the numbers have declined by 30% since 1991 (24,700 murders at that point). Yet that would be the facts if we take the word of Statista; it is the New York Times who gives us “There were 39,773 gun deaths in 2017, up by more than 1,000 from the year before. Nearly two-thirds were suicides“, which is an entirely different dish to serve. The article (at https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/18/us/gun-deaths.html) becomes debatable when we see the information they do give us with ‘Nearly two-thirds were suicides‘, so there is an issue, and even as we want to blame guns, these people would have equally gone for pills and optionally tapping the vein with a sharp knife.

So when we see: “In 2017, about 60 percent of gun deaths were suicides, while about 37 percent were homicides, according to an analysis of the C.D.C.” we need to take a larger look at the issue. When we see the numbers, which I accept is disproportionate to most other nations, we need to see that the US has a much larger issue and firearms are not the cause, the economy is. We see part of that reported by the World Economic Forum (at https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2019/05/the-global-suicide-rate-is-growing-what-can-we-do/). Here we see: “Overall mortality, particularly in the middle years, is increasing as a result of the so-called “deaths of despair” due to suicide, alcohol, opioids, and liver disease. Although 94% of American adults believe mental health is equally as important as physical health, most do not know how to identify changes in mental health that signal serious risk, nor what to do in response“, I believe that this is part of the answer, but not the larger impact. Some have taken this path and it can be directly linked to isolation and the lack of quality of life. Yet it will not stop with the US, there is every indication that these waves will hit the Commonwealth (UK and Australia) as well, In Australia we saw in 2018 ‘Australia’s suicide rate is now at 12.6 deaths per 100,000 people‘, whilst it was reported to be 5.7 in 2016 down from 6.6 in 2007, to see that the numbers have well over doubled in 10 years is a large issue and the limelight on this has been switched off.

The reduced quality of life is a larger issue in the US is that the people that are living in poverty is 13.5% (43 million), which is astounding as the unemployment rate is set to 3.7%, so we have a stage where people with a job are still below the poverty line and they are not alone, the UK is pushing into a similar stage. As the BBC reported almost 3 weeks ago “Between 1994 and 2017, the proportion of people in working households in relative poverty rose from 13% to 18%, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) – eight million people in 2017” (at https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-42223497) we see a shift and the governments are not pushing to improve that setting, more important Australia is pushing in that same direction, yet they make matters worse by remaining in denial of social housing and age discrimination.

This now moves back to the beginning, We see the Capone Syndrome, Alphonse Gabriel Capone was boss of the Chicago Outfit and cause for the deaths of a large uncounted amount of people. In addition to that we must give voice that he donated large amounts of cash and was the force behind the charity that served up three hot meals a day to thousands of the unemployed—no questions asked. In all this he was never convicted of charities, not for murders and not for ‘criminal’ activities, the FBI got him on Tax evasion. Here we see the Syndrome, we blame guns, but other issues are the driving force that is causing all this. Whether the latest two are through mental health or economy driven reasons remain to be seen. However, as long as the people keep on screaming gun laws in a nation where hundreds of millions of guns are in open circulation there is a larger option that will not be tended to.

One of these problems is the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. It lacks leadership and at least 3 presidents are cause if this. With a budget of $1.274 billion, with a little over 5000 staff, the ATF has a massive problem. The larger failure known as Project Gunrunner (2010), as well as the dismissal of ATF special agent Vince Cefalu in 2011 with 24 years of experience is showing to be a much larger issue than the media is giving you. The top brass are an Acting Director, and Acting Deputy Director, no official named and permanent elected (read: placed) director and deputy director have been set for the longest time, so there is a large absence of long term plans and that lack has been an issue for a much longer time. In all this the oversight of second hand firearms has been lacking like almost forever. Even as gun laws are adjusted, second hand merchandise will freely move and as such there will be no improved situation.

If these people who are crying and shouting ‘Gun Control‘ actually wanted any of that, then the ATF would get the needed budget of $3.8 billion, they are trying to get done what they can with a 30% budget, in addition, to properly overhaul second hand firearms an additional 1500 agents would be needed. Yet the power players are not willing to touch this economy. The National Shooting Sports Foundation reported that their group paid $6.82 billion in taxes (including property, income and sales taxes), the government does not want to touch it.

We need to accept an understand that this problem is a lot larger and the fact that everyone is looking at a busy crossroad and they are actually only looking and focusing on that one traffic sign called ‘amendment 2’, how is that ever going to fix anything? You can add a maximum speed of 15 bullets per minute to that crossroads, yet when we consider that the roads themselves are part of the problem, an actual large part, whatever you claim to fix, will not fix anything at all, not until you fix the road, the current signs will have a negligible impact.

Now when we look at the El Paso event at Walmart, we see the accused Patrick Crusius and the fact that he killed 20 people and wounded more than that. We see the mention of some ‘manifesto’ implies a larger issue. It could be a hate crime, yet we still need to learn what set him off. The fact that the person was taken into custody (with little to no force according to the Guardian) implies that this person seeks the limelight, which could give a larger rise to a mental health issue, but time needs to tell us that. In Dayton, Ohio we have another setting. Here a man killed his sister and 8 others. Here the shooter did not survive, something clearly set him off, yet what is unknown at present. Here the Washington Post gives us: “The guns had been legally purchased, police said, and there was nothing in Connor Betts adult criminal background that would have raised concerns“, we could argue that gun control might have been some impact, the issue with millions of guns on the open second hand market, there would have been little to slow this person down. So as we learn that ‘Connor Betts never seemed interested in extreme ideologies, nor did he seem racist‘, we see one optional extremist with racism tendencies and one not, and when we realise that we need to consider that the issue is a lot larger and we need to properly address this issue. Yet screaming ‘gun control laws’ all whilst the ATF is not able to do a proper job now implies that the US is currently heading towards a much larger issue soon enough.

By the way, the fact that the ATF issues have been known for the longest time and the last time it was addressed was on May 19th by David Thornton in an article and not after that, optionally even less before that, does that not warrant questions on several levels?

I reckon that the ATF is not a sexy enough topic for the media, but cadavers certainly are. So when we fix that part, we might begin to fix the mass shooting issues at some point in the future and do not forget that the absence of a permanent director has been an issue since before the Obama Administration, he too never addressed it, which after the Newtown shooting should warrant a question or two as well.

This is not about the NRA, this is not about the NSSF and this is not about guns, this is about policy and how to properly go about it, as I personally see it, until there is a clear mandate and a clear path that includes the ATF, we are unlikely see clear resolutions for years to come.

 

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Witchcraft and/or Calculus

Well as Monday mornings go, this will be a day to try and make you giggle (actually not really). I have always been an advocate for science and common sense. I believe that there is great wisdom in applying science in most occassions, it is the easy path in defining truths. Yet, we cannot explain it all with science. We are all limited, it is a basic truth, it is what drives us forward. It also takes a while to get there scientifically, so from the Penydarren in 1804 to the Virgin Hyperloop in 2021 was not an easy trip. A little over two centuries and we have gone from 10 tonnes at 2.4 mph to 50 tonnes at 260 mph, we can see that there has been forward momentum. We all move forward, not all at the same speed, yet when we consider that I predicted on September 4th (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2018/09/04/democracy-is-dead/) after Reuters gave me the quote “Italian bond yields edged lower on Monday after Fitch left its credit rating unchanged at BBB, revising only its outlook to negative, though mixed news flow from senior ministers and manufacturing PMI data due later this morning could mean the rally is short-lived, analysts said“, to which I gave my personal view of “we need to focus on ‘manufacturing PMI data due later this morning‘ which gives me that the rating was done ‘just in time‘ to avoid having to lower it, which implies to me that it was not a reprieve, merely the application of time management to force an upped rating.

So as we move forward less than 3 weeks, we now see (Source: Forbes 2 days ago): “It is no surprise that Fitch has changed the outlook for Italy’s BBB credit rating to negative from stable“. It is not only ‘not a surprise’; it was clear three weeks ago that this was going to happen. The system was as I personally see it rigged, to give a false optimistic rating to a nation that did not deserve it. The question becomes: ‘Are we abandoning science for witchcraft? If that is true, then I would like to move the motion to make Rachel Riley the high priestess of all economic witches and warlocks on the planet!‘ You see if they abandon common sense, can that unruly mob get managed by someone intelligent and when we are on that setting, it better be a good looking one, so the number of optional choices dwindles down to …. one? And Rachel is her name!

What’s behind this?

You see, we have seen on how S&P played us in 2008 on a few sides and it took until 2015 until a ‘deal’ was struck and they got off with a $1.5 billion fine, so when I am stating that they got off whilst they were getting off, I might be more accurate than I am comfortable with. Moody’s got their load handed to them with a mere $864 million penalty. so whilst some sources (source: Huffington Post) give us that the The 2008 financial crisis cost the U.S. economy more than $22 trillion, we seem to forget the impact outside of it, the impact on Europe and how the overall quality of life returned to WW2 conditions (slight exaggeration),  and even as we see reported that the economy in in restoration, we all seem to forget that the quality of life compared to 20 years ago is still less then what is was in 1998 and in that setting we see Fitch play a managed setting of overly soft on some economies and delaying the downgrades by (what I personally see as) jumping the gun by hours, delaying the downgrade, so basically knowingly assisting in the selling of deflated bonds, that is how I personally see it.

So as we look back at the quote and we consider my view three weeks ago with: “This was done to stretch the game, not truly act on the reported value, if that was done the setting of ‘BBB’ could not have been maintained, it should have been dropped to ‘BBB-‘ (my speculated view). So whilst we think we are being told the truth, in my personal opinion, we are sold a bag of goods, because that is how the game is players and we are all being duped, just like in 2008” and we see again: “Fitch has changed the outlook for Italy’s BBB credit rating to negative from stable“, whilst I do not even have an economic degree, can we agree that if it was this obvious, we need to start doing something about Fitch and these like-minded credit rating parties?

In all this the bad news is nowhere near done. the Financial Times (at https://www.ft.com/content/f9fb99d0-bf23-11e8-95b1-d36dfef1b89a) gave us a mere 7 hours ago: “Italy’s technocratic finance minister Giovanni Tria is coming under renewed pressure to increase the country’s budget deficit to accommodate the expensive election promises of Rome’s populist coalition government“, we can understand that it happens. We get it that promises need to be kept and some spending can never be avoided. Yet at 132% of GDP, with a National debt of €2.3 trillion, one would consider that caution would not be the worst idea. In this, sources are treating us to: “a guaranteed universal income of €780 month for all unemployed Italians“, which in light of the cost of living is a decent idea, yet the fact that around 10.7% of the Italians are without a job, the pressure on government spending goes up and up and that means that the deficit increases and with the interests and budget issues in play, the setting of ‘BBB-‘ might have been a little overoptimistic in the end and the news is not getting better any day soon in Italy. Even as we see that the jobless rate is at a low point (lowest since 2012), poverty was up to 14%, so that number will go down, yet at the cost of the Italian governmental coffers. I get it, it is good if they can find any way to get poverty down, yet they need more, they need an actual economy and the EU is playing around in all the ponds, but they are not getting anything done here and the 3 trillion euro spending bill still needs to be paid for one way or another, so there is are long term pressures to deal with from that side as well.

In opposition

When we look in one way, we need to look in another direction as well. So as we accept the orchestration side, we need to disprove it as well (good luck with that). Yet I did look in other directions, I needed as much data as needed, and when we consider my part to downgrade on September 4th and Fitch to keep it stable (at that point) that whilst Bloomberg gave us on September 6thItalian Banks’ Outlook Cut by Fitch Amid Political Concerns‘ (at https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-09-05/italy-banks-ratings-outlook-cut-by-fitch-amid-political-concerns) with the quote: “UniCredit SpA and Intesa Sanpaolo SpA were among five Italian banks that Fitch Ratings said could have their credit ratings cut along with that of the state, should the nation’s populist government relax its predecessor’s fiscal discipline“. This is merely one of the quotes and it was clearly stated as a warning which is fair, yet we also see there: “Last week, Fitch said there was an increased chance that Italy’s government will reverse some previous structural reforms, negatively impacting the country’s credit fundamentals. It also said the relatively high degree of political uncertainty compounds the risk“, so not only was there already the prospect of negativity before the government non-reforms. There was in addition the political uncertainty. So there were already two markers staging the negative twist before the setting to ‘stable’ and the non-change was (as I personally see it) falsely given. There is also the part (which was after the stable setting) the quote “While the banks’ shares were little changed, Wednesday, they have underperformed the national stock benchmark this year, with UniCredit and Intesa both down about 15 percent. While UniCredit is more geographically diversified than the other four banks, its risk profile remains highly correlated with that of Italy“. It is another negative impact, yet the downgrade would not impact Italy for another three weeks, is that not a little too strange for comfort?

I would in addition mention the quote: “Fitch said it believes that a disorderly Brexit (UK exiting from European Union) could significantly disrupt Jaguar Land Rover’s supply chain and affect the company’s earnings and cash generation. It affirmed the long-term issuer default rating of Tata Motors’ at ‘BB+’“, so it had no issues changing the forecast ahead of schedule here, whilst Italy was given an additional 3 weeks of easy does it options. And there are no questions here?

We can accept that there are timelines and that things are done at specific moments. No one will deny that, yet knowingly (according to all the sources) to set the stage whilst the stage was unrealistic is an issue and it seems that there is a need to consider that the Three rating agencies are American companies. In all this, when we consider the past US behaviour, and the fact that there is no call to get at least one rating company added that is either UK or European based is a matter for discussion as well.

From ratings to fashion

Yet it is not all about the rating company. To see the stage I need to take one leap to the far left (or far right depending on what side you are facing). The view was encouraged when we look at the Times 2 days ago. Especially with my lack of insight, is good to take that setting to the forefront. The times started with ‘Brokers can’t wait for Burberry’s success‘ (which could be read in more than one way), yet the text gives us clearly “Burberry left visitors to London Fashion Week in no doubt of the scale of its self-confidence: “Kingdom” was the grandiose title granted to the highly anticipated debut collection of Riccardo Tisci, its new creative director“, with the added “Analysts renewed their attack on the £8.2 billion company yesterday after executives indicated that it could take three seasons for changes to provide sales with a significant boost. Credit Suisse downgraded Burberry from “outperform” to “neutral,” citing a lack of potentially stock-boosting factors on the horizon.

Now, I am not debating the reality of the setting. Yet when we look at a place like Statista (at https://www.statista.com/statistics/263885/burberrys-worldwide-revenue/), we see that even as they are not reaching new heights, we see that they are still doing decently well (if one calls £2.73 billion revenue decent) and the year is not over yet. So yes, we do accept that revenue and profit are two very different types of cake and one must eat ones cake, doesn’t one? That was given to us by the independent last year in November, when they gave us: “adjusted operating profit soared 28 per cent to £185m from £144m a year earlier“, we do not know the profits for this year as the year is not done yet. Even if the profits are optionally lessened, it comes from a 28% high, as we see that, what exactly drives the attack on Burberry and how does it relate to the earlier non fashionable one (even though they have Ferrari, Maserati and of course the Ducati), they also have some fashionable brands and they might not be of the Burberry level, the ladies will still love the Italian stuff. When we consider ‘Analysts renewed their attack‘, it is my personal belief that there is a group of insiders in these places who seem to be pushing the planchette of the Ouija board on where they need it to be (optionally not in line where it realistically could be), which is clearly a foundation of orchestration. The problem is not merely on how it is done, the entire financial setting is one of close to zero transparency as analysts ‘hide’ behind their formula’s (read: magic spells) and refuse to give out the incantation that they are using. Now, that is partially fair enough, most magicians do not reveal their tricks, they did do that in ‘Deception‘, which is optionally why it got cancelled after one season. I touched on the subject before and it remains active because a lot of ratings do not seem to make sense, especially when you see the actions and the fact that in May Burberry did beat their forecast with 2%, and still they are under attack? The interesting part is that the media who should ask a lot more questions are not doing that, not even reporting on it and whilst we accept the Guardian giving us two months ago that sales were waning ever so slightly, we were also given “Instead, they have been shopping in Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan and mainland China, boosting Burberry’s sales in Asia Pacific by a mid-single-digit percentage“, as well as “Sales in the Americas grew by a high single-digit percentage as the improving US economy encouraged more consumers to buy Burberry products“. In this we could accept that analysts might decide to warn caution, the message of ‘attack’ seems too unwarranted at present, especially when it is preceding Christmas and optionally the impact of thanksgiving sales in the US. Yet is all this, we see to pussy foot around the clear dangers that the Italian markets are giving us?

In this, we need to consider that if it is all around science we need to see a lot more clarity and if they want to sell the magic like we saw last week, we might (or not) accept to some degree the dangers that Mark Carney points out. the Business Insider gave us: “Bank of England Governor Mark Carney has privately warned the UK government that a “no deal” Brexit could bring about a housing market crash and a surge in the UK’s unemployment rate, according to several reports“, this makes perfect sense. Even as I have not seen the data, there are companies overreacting and threatening that they would vacate the UK. Some will do that, it is unavoidable. There was always the premise that this would also stop new hires and there would be fewer jobs for a little while. That too makes sense. Now consider that commercial building in London is through the roof and even now we see that things are not great. They have not been great since January 2018 when the Guardian gave us: “Developers have 420 towers in pipeline despite up to 15,000 high-end flats still on the market“, so in all this there is a larger danger and we were given this in April this year with “number of empty homes in London now above 20,000”, all houses well above £1 million that for the most no one can afford. So as houses remain empty, what do you think happens to the commercial places being build? We focus on the Battersea Powerhouse and Apple new stomping grounds, whilst we need to realise that 99% of all businesses are SME’s totalling at 5.7 million of them. Where do you think they will go when houses remain empty? I am not sure that Mark Carney is wrong, he might be a little too negative, but it depends on that data he has (and the question that he was required to answer), which is going to be loads better than the data I have seen. So when we get back to the setting of politics, if given the choice by the optional ‘troll like’ person Jacob Rees-Mogg stating “Bank of England governor Mark Carney is a “wailing banshee” whose warnings about Brexit cannot be taken seriously” versus the ‘goddess’ Rachel Riley who might be known for her ‘Would you like a vowel or a consonant?‘, is no less of a math goddess, implying that the math will add up correctly is she ever replaces Mark Carney, whilst the math quality is already in doubt ahead of schedule in the peculiar case of Jacob Rees-Mogg.

It is important that we take a much deeper look at the math and even as I have great confidence in Mark Carney’s ability to do the math, we also need to consider that he has a job, a job to properly inform the government, especially when the worst case scenarios can be as dire as they would optionally be for the short term. So whilst we see the mention of “Mark Carney is a “wailing banshee” whose warnings about Brexit cannot be taken seriously“, we also see that at present 20,000 houses are not sold and some have been on the market for well over 6 months. I would suggest that JRM gives us his math and back those numbers up on a public place for everyone to scrutinise (hopefully by Rachel Riley).

The issues matter and they connect to each other, the scrutinisers seem to preload the stage in ‘their’ favour, which is understandable, yet the cold calculation formula has kept from us, so we cannot see which factors have been set on a sandwich that had been buttered too heavily; we all have a right to know those facts, do we not? In the end we accept that it is not merely about apples versus oranges and it is not about the amount of fruit we have, it is about the different scales and the setting of a stage where transparency seems to be always missing and that approach is never scrutinised giving us a growing lack of confidence as well as a level of growing mistrust in those ‘reporting’ the result; an issue that has been clearly noticed by many, and was addressed for the most by no one at all.

If you want to try magic with a money charm using green yarn and pine oil whilst chanting:

Knot of one, the spell’s begun
Knot of two, I make it true
Knot of three, prosperity
Knot of four, bring me more
Knot of five, the spell’s alive

If that does not work, try calculus and focus on spending less then you earn. Try 6 weeks of one and half a dozen weeks of the other and see which of the two gave you better results.

Have a great Monday!

 

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Behind the political screen

We have seen events in the last few years that make me wonder if there is sanity in choice. Don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against Catalonia, against their desire to become independent. It might make local sense, yet where is the wisdom? You see, the same was in play for Scotland, and now we are starting to see more ‘fire’ from Lombardy. A lot of these moves do not make sense. We might argue that an independent Scotland makes the most sense, yet in all this the direct issue is that they cannot afford it. If the oil was different, perhaps, yet even then there are larger questions not considered. The first being ‘How will we keep a budget?‘, this is the first issue and it sank any chance for Scotland. Even with the oil sales, they were already well over 10% short and as oil revenue dwindles down, the Scottish options melted like snowflakes in a Pizza oven. So until the Scottish political delegations attracts a larger more settled form of investors and long term players there is no independent Scotland, there never will be one as it currently sits and I agree that this is a sad thing for the Scots. Now as we consider Scotland and consider that both Catalonia and Lombardy will be in a place that is a lot worse than Scotland would be, the question now becomes, who is pushing behind the screen. You see these levels of ‘local pride’ is getting pushed, and it is always pushed by people with a greed driven agenda and that is a much larger problem than anyone is willing to admit to.

You see, as I personally see it, a few players didn’t get their way through Spain and the UK and are now vying for another path that opens up opportunity and credit cards. Yet behind all this, once they have what they got, they move away, out of sight, out of mind and leave where ever they have been a massive financial mess that is suddenly not theirs to solve, which they then ‘sell’ on to other players. And after that, who pays the bills? Will the ECB come with funds? Will they make the nations sign new debt agreements and exchange bills for large corporations? Perhaps we will suddenly see a wave of news with all the great things the EBRD (European Bank for Reconstruction and Development) and the European Investment Bank (EIB) can do for all the players involved. It opens up the doors they need and makes the government vassals towards the goals they have in play. One large Europe where no one gets to have a say, except for the large financier and multinational that swim in the pool that supports and supplies their needs. The fear after Brexit is growing almost exponentially within their halls of power. With ‘Since our establishment in 1991 we’ve invested over €115 billion in more than 4,500 projects‘ we all seem to think the best of the EBRD (which might not be wrong), so where do they get their profit from? Because a bank, EVERY BANK, requires return on investment to continue! With “The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is owned by 67 shareholders, 65 countries and two international organisations” that question becomes more and more important. You see, the fact that there are nations providing funds is fine. Yet when we see Canada subscribing with $1 billion a year, are they throwing money out the door, or window for that matter? In addition, what are the Governor and alternate, or more precisely The Hon Bill Morneau and Mr Ian Shugart getting out of this? Now, let me be clear. I am not stating that the EBRD is doing anything wrong, illegal or immoral! I am asking questions on where these independent seeking groups are getting their economic wisdom (or lack thereof from) the fact that these organisations ALL have boards of directors, getting an income I reckon, is food for thought, because all that money is set, stored or reserved to some extent and their local citizens should be allowed to know where that money is going to. In addition, when these groups are being invested in, the fact that they have no real viable plan to be economic independent is also a matter of concern, so whoever is setting up the funds in all this should be placed in the spotlight. The questions I ask regarding the EBRD, should give food for thought. Even as many might not remember 1993, the Independent (at http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/attali-runs-out-of-credit-the-ebrd-president-was-finally-forced-to-yield-to-calls-for-his-head-1494218.html) gave us: “Jacques Attali, the beleaguered president of the Bank for European Reconstruction and Development, picked up the telephone in his office in Broadgate and rang a number in Sweden. He spoke for several minutes to Anne Wibble, the Swedish finance minister and chairman of the bank’s governors, who was away from her office on Sweden’s summer solstice holiday. By the time he put down the phone, he had resigned from his post.” It sounds so summery and tranquil, yet the story is not so sweet. With “The Financial Times reported that Attali had been reimbursed twice for the same first-class air fare to Tokyo and had collected dollars 30,000 (pounds 20,000) for a speech there, even though bank staff were not supposed to be paid by anyone but the EBRD“, we see merely another section of the gravy train. First class lights, twice in his case apparently, or is that for what we used to call a ‘travel secretary‘? In addition he seemingly gets more for one day than most are hoping to ever get for an entire quarter. As for the ‘not supposed to be paid by anyone but the EBRD‘, how much was he on? As the list goes on with most notably the refurbishment of 55.5 million, I think I have illuminated enough for more questions to be asked. The article has more and more vicious material, so do read it. This now gets us to the three optional nations to be, because they will need funds and loans and other things. So whilst it is not out of the question that they would knock on all those doors, the slam back from the EBRD part is: “The EBRD’s expenditure on itself was twice as much as the bank’s actual lending in 1991 and 1992, its first two years of operation“, so running the gravy train, or is that ‘hiring executive jets‘ to fly back an forth to these three nations to be, will we see more disgraceful spending? Reuters gives us more from last June with ‘Ex-EBRD banker jailed for six years for bribery by UK court‘ (at https://www.reuters.com/article/us-ebrd-corruption-prison/ex-ebrd-banker-jailed-for-six-years-for-bribery-by-uk-court-idUSKBN19B37Y), with the quote “Andrey Ryjenko, 44, who has joint UK and Russian citizenship, had been found guilty of conspiring to make or accept corrupt payments between July 2008 and November 2009 while he worked at the London-based development bank“, so there are issues and I am decently convinced that in all this Andrey Ryjenko was not the only player, as it went on for well over a year, he was merely the less intelligent one as he was the only one who seemingly got caught. So as we see how Europe is not bursting at the seams for new players to create what we might see as a ‘virtual’ or ‘fictive’ growth of the economic terrain, we will see more economic players, opening new commissions, new ‘opportunities’ whilst in fact, it is merely to set up another part of the gravy train with three new optional stops. This is what is going on behind the political screen and it is happening right in front of our very eyes. So, now as the EIB s loaning Spain 600 million euro for a Basque high speed railway, we need to ask how this will be earning itself back. It might seem nice on the verge of creating jobs for a little while. The idea that something will bring 24 million in revenue a year merely to pay for the interest is just short of insane. It is a 180Km track, so the idea that people would pay 400% to gain 30-45 minutes is close to insane. Having a normal upgraded rail that would be at 30% of the cost giving us a 140-165Km per hour train versus a train that needs to slow down by the time it is a maximum speed is beyond belief (OK, that was a small exaggeration). I get that it might seem really cool for Spain to have their three Basque capitals (Vitoria, Bilbao and San Sebastian) connected, yet the way money is thrown away is just too weird for reality (at http://www.globalconstructionreview.com/news/eu-loans-spain-600m-basque-high-speed-railway/). The 600 million is merely the loan whilst the plan requires at least 400 million more and I feel certain that by 2019 the people get to learn that the calculations were off by no less than 17%. It is the final part that astounded me the most. With “More than 7 million people are expected to use these new high-speed lines in their first year of operation, said the EIB“, Yet when we look at Statista (at https://www.statista.com/statistics/457527/passenger-traffic-in-the-high-speed-train-between-madrid-and-barcelona/) we see that the biggest transport vein (Madrid-Barcelona) was getting between 2.5 million (2010) and 3.4 million (2014), so how that goes up to an astounding 300% for High Speed trains is quite beyond me, because let’s face it, not only is it the size of the place, where we see 3 million for Madrid versus 340,000 for Bilbao, we see Barcelona with 1.6 million versus San Sebastian with 186,000 and there is Vitoria with 244,000. So the population numbers do not add up, the stats compared to other high speed trains do not add up and the required economic importance of the locations do not add up, but someone sold the story that made Spain to be facilitated for a loan that is already surpassing 1.4 billion. That is the game behind the screen and in all this, there are a lot of questions and no one is asking them. The people are merely sitting down, casually seeing train carts full of loans pass by, loans that they in the end have to pay for. And I am willing to bet anyone a nice old beer that the people selling the story that sold got a nice pay check in the end too.

As I personally see it, greed will always be the main player behind nearly every political screen and the three optional nations to be, would potentially get into hot waters on year one of their existence. So how does that solve anything? It is not impossible that these steps are not the beginnings of independent places, it is merely the start of the sovereign right of a financial institution to have the terms of conditions of their needs be made into law by contractual agreement of whatever geographical indicator that they have acquired ownership of through hostile takeovers without an army and no elections required.

And all this comes at a slightly larger price than most would expect (even beyond my descriptions given), as Spain is lowering its forecast, we see the dangers that the deficit will grow way beyond the proportions expected a quarter ago, so that will dampen further positive news. In all this, whilst unemployment is still way over the top, the EU will have a dampened outlook on a few levels, as Spain is now becoming the more outspoken negative element in all this. In this too many players have been looking towards the short term gains that were seemingly in place, yet in the end, so far they still need to prove to be a positive return on investment, something the new High Speed Train is unlikely to ever become. In that setting we see player’s vying for some level of independent growth, whilst they have futuristically been set on a debt level that will merely strangle them. How is that independence or an act to create forward momentum?

We see the elements, yet the media at large steers clear of several parts in all this. At times we hear some overpaid high official in that government state: “It is a really complex matter to address, so we have sought the expertise of the leading members in that field”, we only need to look at ABC (at http://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/2017-01-27/milk-company-problems-as-dairy-industry-sours/8184544) to see the events that involve the Tasmanian-based Linear Capital, we see in addition “Queensland coal miner Bill McDonald told the ABC he planned to build a 40,000-strong dairy herd and was on the hunt for 250 million litres of milk to complement his own production”, it is followed by “Within 18 months, the company announced that Mr McDonald had sold all his shares in the company and he instead planned to invest his money back in the coal industry. His departure came after the company announced its $500 million plan to produce and process its own milk had been put on hold”. So as I see it there is a structural failure, because in all this, where are the contracts? Was there any investigation? What were the findings? All this in an established nation like Australia, so when Scotland, Catalonia and Lombardy get their own version of these ‘investors’, how will it end for them? Perhaps a nice high aimed loan from places like the EIB, the EBRD, or perhaps even both? Yet when the plan starts failing and people start jumping the shark, what then? What will the damage be and how is it that these matters are not set in stronger bonds holding these investors long term accountable for the consequences of their actions.

The real question remains if such events could be prevented; you see the issue was partially addressed by me in August 2013, with ‘Political ego and their costs’ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2013/08/16/political-ego-and-their-costs/) we see the issue raised and not before 2015. In 2 articles the first (at http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2015/05/the-fyra-high-speed-train-debacle-cost-the-dutch-state-e11bn/) shows that the Dutch state losses were stated to be just over €10.8bn so far, the NOS stated that week. Also we see stated: “travellers did not get what they were promised, MP Madeleine van Toorenburg, who is heading the inquiry, told a news conference”. In the second article (at http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2015/10/the-fyra-high-speed-train-debacle-what-the-dutch-papers-say/), So when we see ‘a job half-done which has cost every household in the Netherlands €1,500’, as well as ‘The crux of the matter is the un-transparent and unclear relationship between what was a public sector company and the government’, so the people get to read parts that I had already seen coming two years earlier. Of course the largest delay was the commission, and those dragging their heels to make sure that some names were either delayed in mentioning, or merely blocked from being mentioned at all. The Netherlands and Australia have protection from multi billion Euro stupidities, the new regions will not have that benefit and as such someone gets to pay the price. In all this, the less said on the NHS blunders the better, yet it clearly shows that the entire situation cannot be maintained and still some people end up with a large bag of coins, they move on whilst the households get to pay for their overvalued income.

It is a game that I have seen starting, misreported, placed on notice of communication and written off the red ledgers as bad debt for decades, larger more draconian changes are need to hold ‘PowerPoint users’, who in the end quickly move to another challenge with bags of coins, these people need to sign waivers and be held accountable for damages and losses, yet at that point the politicians will back down, their symbiotic connection being vital to their own futures, no matter how massive a project fails.

The fact that this has been going on for too long and still is happening all over Europe is why I fear that in the end nothing gets solved, nothing is clearly improved and every cent of the overinflated budgets is still spend, often with well over 10% spent beyond of what was available. Feel free to consider your losses as you pay for a project that never worked, was never implemented and is sitting on a shelf; you merely have to release your savings, is that not fair?

So welcome to the show of what you cannot see as it happens behind the stage of the politician and it is demanding all the camera time it can get, leaving you in the dark.

 

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Those dodgy numbers

We knew it was going to happen, we knew that there would be some term of hardship, everyone knew this. So when the media is lashing all out whilst they know that they are misinforming the people intentionally. We have to wonder why we are not making short work of the media as a whole. So as the Independent gave us (at http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/eurozone-gdp-growth-rate-uk-second-quarter-2017-eurostat-ons-eu-brexit-a7870811.html), ‘Eurostat’s ‘flash’ estimate for growth in the single currency bloc was 0.6 per cent, double the 0.3 per cent estimate for the UK from the Office for National Statistics last week‘ we have to start asking questions. You see, the numbers are correct, they are all about the correct numbers, yet the clarity that is also behind it, mainly what Forbes and a few others tell us with: “We have the results of the composite PMI for the Eurozone and this is showing that the economic growth in the region is slowing. This really is not quite what is desired, especially as we’ve still got the ECB going all out on quantitative easing” we need to wonder what the game of the Independent is. In addition there is from that same Forbes piece: “in this day and age, people tend not to order the parts to make something until they’ve committed themselves to actually making it. So, what people are ordering to make things from is a really good guide to what is going to be made in the immediate future. We then standardise the measures so that we’ve an index, anything above 50 indicates expansion, below contraction. The one really great joy of PMIs is that they are a very good guide to what is about to happen” and that part of the equation is a slowing economy. Even as we see “A falling Eurozone PMI isn’t a disaster but it’s not exactly what we want either” we see what matters, in the age of 60 billion a month QE, we see in equal measure that the economy is slowing down, so in all this, did the independent give us that, or are they in a ‘lashing mode’ on how the EU is at twice the presented strength? And the term ‘presented strength’ is actually a lot more important than you think.

You see, this is important when we consider Mehreen Khan’s article in the Financial Times (at https://www.ft.com/content/edd41c68-76a4-11e7-a3e8-60495fe6ca71). Here we see: “Separate figures from a business survey showed the Eurozone’s manufacturing sector is in the grip of a jobs boom. Factories in France are hiring at their best pace since 2000 and in Spain at a rate not seen since before the start of monetary union in 1998, according to IHS Markit’s purchasing managers’ index“, interesting that both are referring to the PMI is it not? Another article in the Financial Times is giving us ‘Spain unemployment rate has fallen to a 9 year low’, which is great for Spain, yet again, it is merely part of the issue. The fact that it is over 17% is still an issue. Even as there is a drop, it is August, the tourist season is starting to peak this month and that is good for Spain, I am happy for them, I actually am. Yet, the issue is that the drop of 26,000 claims is merely a temporary one, because as tourist season winds down in 8 weeks, these people will get back on the unemployment books, so it is merely a very short term benefit. In addition, it might be better than another time, yet when we consider that the increase started in 2007 doubling the amount in 26 months is another given missing. In addition, there is still the issue not merely of the unemployed, but the internal drain it causes to the coffers (source: Statista). So in my view any benefit Spain gets at present is merely setting the clock forward a mere quarter. Unless an actual economic improvement comes to Spain, we see mere posturing through ‘presented strength‘, not by actual growth or gaining actual strength. It takes three quarters to get a true visible growth to show and the newspapers are keeping silent on that, they hide behind ‘but that is tomorrow and this is now‘, which for the most is correct, yet as they know from various sources that there is already a visible slowdown, the presentation they give is a fake, it is presented fake optimism, some might refer to it as ‘fake news‘.

The fact that the BBC gave a similar view (at http://www.bbc.com/news/business-40774654) does not make any of them a liar, they spoke the truth with “The rate dropped to 9.1% last month, from a downwardly revised 9.2% in May” the fact that France, Spain, Italy and Greece are dealing with global tourism that brings them money, so they need staff is perfectly valid, yet here too is the missed information that is not shown. These nations depend on Tourism. In France and Italy we might see the year round tourism for Paris and Rome, but those two parts are extremes. What is not an extreme is that all three rely to a part on tourism, a valid dependency. Now we consider two sources, the first (at https://www.imtj.com/news/european-tourism-figures-show-growth-2017/), gives us “Several destinations report a rebound in arrivals from Russia -Iceland (+157%) Cyprus (+122%) and Turkey (+88%)-. Overall, outbound travel from this market is projected to improve in 2017“. Now, we need to remember that this was a June article, part of it was expected growth, which is fair enough. The second source Statista (at https://www.statista.com/statistics/186657/travel-and-tourism-scores-of-countries-from-europe-in-2011/), gives us a chart with Spain, France and Germany showing a rise beyond 5% and training Italy with 4.99%, a decent growth all perfectly valid, so when you realise that, and when you see that the impact was a dropped from 9.2% to 9.1% in unemployment rate, is that still a good thing? The rise of these three nations alone (others nations all have tourism, yet not that high), consider the tourism needs; how come that the drop for the short term was not stronger to let’s say 8.7%? That would have been a clear indication of progress, 9.1% even in the short term is not progress and that part remains undiscussed by the media, is that not strange? They have been slamming Brexit through speculations in dozens of articles, and the reality of this so called double economic growth versus the UK is not set into a complete proper context. Even as several sources show the European slowdown. The EU has 8 more weeks until summer is over, what happens then? Will we see the message of a non-anticipated slowdown, or will we see that the slowdown was larger than anticipated? When you see that part, could you decide to trust the media you rely on?

However the independent also gives us “However, the UK economy has grown faster than the Eurozone’s since the 2008 financial crisis, reflecting the single currency’s multiple crises between 2010 and 2013“, which is true yet in this, they also fail to mention that there will be some level of slowdown and the Eurozone will make some level of temporary improvement, the question is for how long this happens. I am slightly less optimistic, yet also hesitant to be too negative. When the dust settles in the Middle East, we know that the Netherlands have two massive opportunities and a few other options through the large projects in Oman and the UAE, those large projects are the kind of solutions that put the Netherlands in the engineering top of the planet. The options could propel that small nation with most of it below sea level in scale and equality to Germany which is roughly 900% the size of the Netherlands. As Germany is one of the large 4, the Dutch achievement would be close to a legendary one. And if there is a large boost to the EU economy it will not be less likely to come from Germany than it will more likely to come from the Netherlands in both 2017 and 2018. This was always a reality that the EU and Germany faced, things will turn around, yet for the short term the EU numbers would probably boost. What is important is that it would not have impacted the UK in any way other than the presented numbers of difference. In this the UK is not on par with the EU on the short side, yet as European tourism falls in autumn, the numbers will no longer look against the UK to that degree and we will suddenly see different mentions, in this some of them are already a near given, so when we see “The single currency zone has now seen 17 successive quarters of growth. The unemployment rate in the Eurozone currently stands at 9.1 per cent, down from 12 per cent in 2013, but still double the UK’s current rate of 4.5 per cent“. OK, I will accept that, yet what I miss is the part that needs to be given with the quote ‘17 successive quarters of growth‘, so how much were these quarters of growth and how did they compare to the UK? It seems that this part is equally missing. In addition there is another part missing, this related to the final quote in the article. With “Other data last week showed that, within the Eurozone, France’s GDP expanded by 0.5 per cent in the second quarter and Spain’s by 0.8 per cent” you might wonder, yet when we look at Statista (at https://www.statista.com/statistics/263008/gdp-growth-in-eu-countries-compared-to-same-quarter-previous-year/) we do not see the same part. We see the Q1 numbers where France and the UK are on the same foot, Italy trails by 0.1% and Spain is ahead by a fair bit, which is the part that impacts and matters, yet the high note comes from Ireland, Estonia, Malta and Romania, which seems like a powerful impact, yet they are together a mere fraction of the EU output, which is why France, Spain and Germany are so important, they are the lion share together with the UK. Only when we look at the last 8 quarters can we see numbers that make actual sense to some and whilst the future is not a given, the knowledge that there is a slowdown coming, there we see that the hyped EU numbers are slightly over the top in my view. So as we accept that the 2 of the large 4 would have much better numbers in tourism season, the fact that the unemployment numbers were projected down by 0.1% is still a much larger issue than most people realise. What is phenomenal is the fact that the impact on tourism is better for Greece. They reported yesterday that the number of international arrivals in the first half was up by well over 10%, which is awesome, as the Greeks should be getting loads of good news after all the garbage they went through. The two sources, the first (at http://www.tornosnews.gr/en/tornos/trends/26630-greek-minister-spectacular-tourism-figures-in-2017.html) gives us: “there is a huge increase in overnight stays and hotel occupancy, ranging from 80% to 95% in most tourist destinations, as well as record arrivals in some of them. The Minister also referred to important economic benefits from the tourism industry, particularly from non-Schengen countries“, which means that the local Greeks will get a relief from the pressure they have had for the longest of times. The small issue that temperatures are up to 41 Celsius might not be the best thing to be confronted with, yet over all they heatwave will give the sun the hours of baking that the tourists love so much, it would also increase the need for windy trips (on boats with sails) and those enjoying places like the caves of Lasithi (in this, I have personal experience that visiting Knossos is a really bad idea, but several museums in Iraklion tend to be nice and cool. another source is giving us (at http://greece.greekreporter.com/2017/08/05/a-record-3-2-million-tourist-arrivals-expected-in-august/). This gives us “Russia and the Netherlands have marked the greatest rise in seats by 25.8% / 46,000 and 18.3% / 26,000 seats, respectively. Top Greek destinations include islands of Crete, Rhodes, Zakynthos, Kerkyra, Mykonos, Santorini and Halkidiki. Tourism professionals are forecasting the same performance in September, citing a total of 2.73 million seats booked for the month after“, implying that it will be a much better year than hoped for, and good for them I say!

Yet in the back of our minds will be not just for the European zone, more precisely, what will Greece do next? In this day and age tourism is great for them, yet they still have the other three quarters to deal with and in this they might have options and opportunities, it merely becomes the view on how to address it and which model to change so that it becomes a benefit.

They are all issues people want to address, yet in this we need to realise that the dodgy numbers are not a help. They are merely the approach towards undesired thoughts and in the end presented strength is no strength, it becomes strength when it is acted upon and results in a positive outcome, this is why quantative easing is never an actual solution. It is merely an option for those who are paid and reflected on the presented result with quarter on quarter growth. The fact that there is a new multi trillion debt is not what their bonus is balanced on. That is the part that people forget. I state to you here that I can go into the USA tomorrow and get a firm with $2 billion if revenue within a week. I have access to all the materials. I merely want 1% of that revenue as a bonus. Now consider that I am selling Official US currency $20 bills for $9.99. I get the bonus because I made my revenue, yet the fact that there is a $1 billion loss is not my issue, it will be for the registered owners of the business and if I set up an LLC with my finding founders, go bankrupt after the exercise one week later, I am still entitled to my $20 million severance package. This is the reality of quantative easing. People like Mario Draghi will not call it like that (and in equal measure find my example way to simplified, which is partially true), but it is the reality that they face in Europe. So as we see the reported news on how the UK is merely 50% of the Eurozone, we need to realise that there is a blowback from the actions that they are taking and in the long run only the bankers and the top of the ECB will be smiling enjoying life in the luxury estates that they own. I feel that we will see a strong impact of what happened before on the 26th October in Oslo Thursday. On that day we will see

  • Norway Central Bank announces interest rate decision – 0800 GMT.
  • Stockholm – Swedish Central Bank announces interest rate decision. Monetary Policy Report will be published – 0730 GMT.
  • Frankfurt – ECB Governing Council meeting, followed by interest rate announcement
  • Frankfurt – ECB President Mario Draghi holds a press conference, after the interest rate meeting Monday, October 30th

The press conference comes three days later, so after the 3 day speculation there will be the press meeting with even more speculation all that as the Christmas temporary need for short term staff is announced in several global places. I will let you work out what speculation will be offered. I am not having too much faith in the upcoming actions. Merely an anticipation of a media assisted manipulated bad news through overly optimism. It is merely my speculation on the matter.

 

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Bitches of Technology

There are multiple issues in play, first there is the continuation of the previous part, which I will address here. The second is the article the Guardian published (at http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jan/25/uk-should-be-punished-if-it-leaves-european-union-to-deter-other-exits) titled ‘UK should be punished if it leaves EU to deter other exits, say former ministers‘.

My first response in regards to this would be “are you bitches out of your mind?” which sounds highly emotional and it is. You see, Brexit (and the possible upcoming Frexit) is a direct result of the people in charge of REFUSING to take action when they could, in addition, they decided to hide behind ‘Status Quo’ when they should have acted. In final addition, several acts of change have been pushed forward again for the good of big business, which makes me question their intent.

To illustrate this with evidence (which is always important), in my article ‘Dress rehearsal (part 1)‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2015/07/01/dress-rehearsal-part-1/), which I published on July 1st 2015, I included the PDF at the end of the blog too ‘Withdrawal and expulsion from the EU and EMU some reflections‘. On page 33 we get “it is likely that some Member States would object to the introduction of a right of expulsion in the treaties, coupled with an amendment of Article 48 TEU to make that possible, since this would expose them to the risk of being forced out at some future date. Moreover, apart from it being politically almost inconceivable, forcing a Member State out of the EU or EMU would inevitably give rise to tremendous legal complexities. This, perhaps, explains why expulsion has not been, and may never be, provided for in the treaties“, as the members in charge of that piece of paper were already too deep in the mess on non-accountability, they actually set themselves up for a long fall, one the Greece instigated and even now, reflecting back on all the warnings I gave from 2013 onwards, none would have been considered. Now again in this paper we get on page 11 the text “The silence of Community primary law on the existence or otherwise of a legal right of withdrawal was, in any event, inconclusive, lending itself to two fundamentally opposed interpretations. One is that a right of unilateral withdrawal existed even in the absence of any explicit reference to it in the treaties, since sovereign States were, in any case, free to exercise their sovereign right to withdraw from their international commitments“, the text refers to P. Doehring and P. Hill where there seemed to be the case of favouring the theory that it reflects the hope of the drafters of dissuading Member States from withdrawing. That was nice in those days, but the interested parties of today have had enough of the utter irresponsible acts of other so called world leaders. In addition there is the expression ‘Sovereign power’, coming from ‘Sovereign States’ which has been defined as ‘power not subject to limitation by higher or coordinate power held over some territory’ this comes from N. MacCormick’s ‘Questioning Sovereignty‘.

So even after we saw the useless and toothless statements from some in the past regarding “throwing Greece out of the Euro and the EEC“, we see an even more toothless statement from several former ministers at this junction regarding the punishment for those leaving the Euro/EEC. It is given additional voice in the quote “We should not encourage other populist forces campaigning on exit such as National Front in France or Podemos in Spain. This is a very important consideration. This is in the interests of Europe that we do not encourage other EU countries to leave. The common interest of remaining members is to deter other exits. This should have an impact on the terms Britain gets”, words spoken by the former Polish deputy prime minister Leszek Balcerowicz. He is probably realising that his goose is cooked soon after Brexit and Frexit. Even though he looks ‘good’ on paper, 53% debt of GDP still comes to 236 billion dollars, in a nation with 38 million people. They are all panicking now, because the British referendum is not going good (read: the way they want it to go). If only someone had the balls to strongly intervene with Greece, and in better terms clean up legislation a long time ago, this mess would have been speculative at best. Now we see the texts that the writers want us to focus on, but in all this, in that same air, we see the ignored facts. Facts, that (as I see them), Patrick Wintour Diplomatic editor is not eager to inform his readers on.

The little part in all this is something that was mentioned twice, including the photo caption. You see, this is an exercise to debunk issues by the Open Europe Think-tank. You might notice some ‘fluffy’ facts, yet the truth is, is that these people are speaking whilst at their backs (read: they are the political shield) for players like Jardine Matheson Holdings (61 billion plus) and British Petroleum (358 billion plus), with a lot more then these two, we see that Open Europe is a shield for the bigger players, all behind a fluffy website (at http://openeurope.org.uk/). These groups are very dependent on keeping the EEC as is, the Status Quo to be, but the people all over Europe have had enough of this non-accountability from both politicians and large corporations. That is exactly why Le Pen and Farage are a worry to them. Even now we see (at http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/jan/25/northern-ireland-irish-republic-eu-referendum-enda-kenny) the first mentions that a referendum is not needed until the end of 2017. That stalling is exactly what Farage is hoping for, showing more vigour in this fight! We see that Reuters is giving us “To loud applause, Nigel Farage, the leader of the UK Independence Party, told a Grassroots Out campaign event that Europe’s policy of taking in migrants with few checks had endangered the lives of those living in the 28-member bloc“, with an additional “Farage was joined on the stage by Britain’s former defence secretary Liam Fox from Cameron’s ruling Conservative party who is also campaigning for an exit“, which is now a growing issue.

Now I need to get back to the previous article, even though this time it is not about the man or the victim, this is about data and data systems. you see, certain amendments were to be made in Serious Crime Bill (at the http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2014-06/06/cybercrime-bill-life-sentence), Wired informed us regarding “there is no existing offence of owning manuals that offer advice on how to groom or abuse children sexually“, which might not help Breck Bednar and family any regarding the circumstances. In addition, the Serious Crime Act would in this case apply AFTER the damage is done, so no matter how many improvements, Breck Bednar ends up remaining terminally dead no matter what.

When we look at the Serious Crime Act of 2015, we see at section 3 we see ‘Unauthorised acts causing, or creating risk of, serious damage‘, but this is AFTER the fact and even then, many of the facilitating acts will remain unanswered. In my previous blog I got some comments on ‘the Nigerian prince‘ issue. They were fair enough, but in some of these parts we have two issues. We can go with the part that Breck Bednar got himself killed by not listening to his mother. Which to some extent makes sense, yet in the same light, we see that levels of facilitation remain unanswered in many ways.

Consider the following

  1. The administrator of a server service gets to intentionally misrepresent himself or herself. We have two issues, one, is that we already have issues of misrepresentation. The issue given is “He claimed to be a 17-year-old computer engineer running a multimillion pound company“, the fact that this misrepresentation comes with “he was invited into an online gaming group – a ‘virtual clubhouse’“, in the foundation there is no initial cause of imminent danger, but the danger could have been avoided in a few ways.
  2. What if such servers need to be openly registered and linked to a registered corporation or firm, which now gives us the issue that Lewis Daynes would have been better known, moreover, the police would have seen more red flags possibly intervening before Breck Bednar entered a state of being permanently dead. I will go one step further, what if, not unlike ‘Raising the bar’ in IP law (2013), we see, contemplate and try to adjust the validity and the accountability of the facilitator. Now we get that change!

You see, Lewis Daynes would have to answer several questions, logs would have been available for the police to investigate. That is the one step too many sides do not want to consider, because accountability in too many cases seem to deflate maximised profits, yet in all this, is that a valid train of thought for any government to consider?

  1. Consider that on February 17, 2014 Breck Bednar ended up dead, those facts had been in court for a while (he was convicted in January 2015), yet knowing that this issue was already playing we see (at https://www.nspcc.org.uk/fighting-for-childhood/news-opinion/flaw-law-online-grooming-legislation/). The headline ‘PM announces new online grooming offence‘ sounds nice, and there is forward movement, yet there is a massive gap in the prevention of grooming, which is not even correct in this case, when we consider the law. Most laws would have been able to use the path of facilitator, most social media will still be able to hold onto the defence of ‘innocent disseminator‘, yet, the action of Lewis Daynes do not allow for that. His continued interactions stop him from that path giving us an option to grant an additional level of protection to future victims, whilst not hindering business and profit as a whole, because the bulk of all social media is founded on interactions by users and facilitation by the system. Even in the most precise case of scripting, it is not towards ONE individual, it would be towards a spearheaded group of thousands. Breck Bednar would have been in an automated introduction amongst thousands and in this case there is safety in numbers, because the actions of Lewis Daynes would have raised many more flags, enough from barring him from a system he did not control and in his own system he is not the facilitator. It is the lack of many organisations (governments, corporations and legal parties) to dig into the option of setting safety parameters regarding ‘facilitation’.

As seen, there needs to be an additional circle of protection, which addresses the dangers of the ability for grooming. This is a hard issue to address and in light of any Brexit it could become a lot harder, if any law has to be addressed, than in light of all the changes the next 10 years will bring, a massive change to digital devices, for example, the new Huawei P9 will come (read: is rumoured to come) with 4GB RAM, 64GB ROM, 8MP front camera and 16MP back camera, and installed Android 6.0. It comes with a 64-bit processor that outperforms plenty of laptops.

Now we get back to part one, because the two are linked in cyberspace.

You see, the chance of Brexit which was 39% in November 2015 is now surpassing 48%, this means that there are a few issues coming forward, apart from the growing danger that UKIP seems to be. You see, this is not just a Nigel Farage thing. There is a rather massive jurisprudential lag in prosecuting economic crimes, especially economic cyber-crimes.

Some of the information can be found (at http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/news/british-crime-survey-reveals-extent-of-fraud-and-cyber-crime-in-sngland-and-wales-oct15). The article ‘British Crime Survey reveals extent of fraud and cyber crime in England and Wales‘ gives us “the cost of fraud to the UK economy estimated at £30 billion more needs to be done and more resources are needed to assist law enforcement to help victims of crime and prevent further victimisation“, which sounds nice in theory, but the foundation needed is stronger legislation.  Yet in all this, there is an issue with the article. The quote “This is new crime in our society and it brings new challenges for policing in prosecuting offenders and protecting victims. Notwithstanding the cuts to police budgets we must find ways of responding to the needs of victims of fraud. Alongside this policing response the UK needs to begin a prevention revolution to educate the public on how to stop hackers and fraudsters from taking our money“, which focusses on the money, just on the money, in all this there are other venues where there is an issue (perhaps the name Breck Bednar sounds familiar).

The issue is to deal with the facilitators without strangling true entrepreneurial options, which is what has been lacking both within the Commonwealth and outside of it. You see, the danger to the many sides of life through technology, including the children is growing on a near exponential level. First of all, the main issue is IPv6, it was essential to conceive this new technology for the mere reason that its predecessor has actually run out of options. With a mobile growth that seems to double on an annual base, the new phones won’t just have IPv6 (as the mobile industry started to adopt it since around 2009), the growth of IPv6 has doubled in the last 12 months. At http://betanews.com/2016/01/05/ipv6-adoption-nearly-doubles-in-a-year/ we see that usage went from just below 6% to well over 10%, falling just short of 84%, here I mean that over 10% of all traffic to websites is now IPv6. For the most, this cannot be clearly monitored, which means that with the next mobile iteration, we will see a growth unlike we have seen before. You see, Statista (at http://www.statista.com/statistics/263441/global-smartphone-shipments-forecast/) forecasts a sale of 1.4 billion phones in 2016. This would include the upcoming Huawei P9, the Apple iPhone 7, Google Nexus 6, HTC One M10, the Samsung Galaxy S7 and a few more. These phones will ship with up to 4GB RAM (in two cases 6GB is rumoured), several of them with 64GB internal storage.

This is a nightmare to the intelligence community, as well as the CPS and the DPP, yet I feel that for parents the worry should be bigger, a lot bigger. As social media gets more and more derived solutions, niche groups will be a consequence, which means that children like Breck Bednar could end up being an even larger target, because there is too much evidence at present that monitoring those groups will become technologically near impossible. IPv6 Now (at http://www.ipv6now.com.au/primers/IPv6SecurityIssues.php) shows us a few issues. The first quote is “With 18 billion billion addresses in a /64 subnet, sequential scanning is pointless. It would take 500,000 years to scan a single /64 at a million probes per second“, I will immediately admit that I left a little part out of it, so there are options, yet let’s see my reasoning.

That part is seen in the quote “In IPv4, multiple addresses are always possible, but rare. But in IPv6 they are very common, arising from SLAAC, temporary DHCPv6, link-local addresses, multiple prefixes, overlapping lifetimes, as well as IPv4 addresses. Admins must be aware of all possible interface addresses and the capacity of network devices to create their own addresses“, this implies that the admin is all on the up and up, but when we consider those with other agenda’s like Lewis Daynes and we see apps appearing that allow for a peer-2-peer approach, a system that piggybacks messages. At some point someone will miss out on checking, especially when they are distributed in other ways. Financial opportunists, organised crimes, schoolkids and monsters in the making a system that cannot be monitored in any way because governments ended up being too lax in a world where those in power requiring ‘space’ and not realising who else they were enabling, or perhaps they did know but did not care.

Now we are beyond running out of time, because of the Statista is even close to correct, the world could have an IPv6 based mobile server park (as well as a data cloud) that ends up being unmonitored. Now, I am not evangelising not allowing for these iterations, yet the need to adjust legislation that additional options exist to hold certain groups to account becomes an increasing essential need.

There is one final side that IPv6 Now gives us. The quote is part of auto configuration (which is too often way more dodgy than I care for) gives us “DHCPv6 (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) allows a server to supply addresses to hosts. DHCP in IPv4 needed external support, but in IPv6 it requires nothing but a working router for the connected host to be immediately reachable“, if we consider that any mobile phone is a router, how reachable will this modern host be and more important, what data could be gotten access to, especially in an unmonitored way?

At this point, we seem to become nothing less than the bitches of technology. I could state that there is a group that will try to align certain paths, but it is already too late for that. People, their lives and whatever they own is streamed on a near 24:7 foundation and in all this there remains a technological lack in the places that cannot afford not to have it. When we see the news on the ‘evolving’ systems fighting fraud and other creative (and sometimes graphical) activities, we see that the gap of our safety and our allowance for accepted acts is widening to the extent that everyone is an evolving target without any clear means of staying safe. There is support for that statement. It comes from the Czech Ministry of Education (at http://services.geant.net/cbp/Knowledge_Base/Network_Monitoring/Documents/gn3-na3-t4-cbpd132.pdf), now we will accept that this is a 2011 document, yet, this does not diminish the quote “IPv6 configured hosts on an IPv4 network can bypass defined security policy or hide their identity using temporary IPv6 addresses“, consider that in conjunction that many users (young and old) tend to use free Wi-Fi locations whenever possible, making monitoring an even lesser option. Now consider those places and the traffic that they could (unintentionally) offer through ‘temporary IPv6 addresses‘, so what safety is there?

Clearly we have become the bitch of technology and the law is falling behind more and more. The EEC has done too little and Brexit could go either way in protecting the people, but the danger here must be acknowledged, if ‘protection’ becomes too draconian it would not become protective and only drive away commerce, a mere lose-lose situation for everyone involved.

 

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