Tag Archives: Sweden

Frexit Down Under (2nd attempt)

What is about to come was written several days ago. I stopped the article as there was too much speculation (read: claims by unreliable sources) and I prefer facts over scaremongering. Yet the initial views were not invalid, but must be taken in stride, taken with critical consideration. I am not stating that you should believe me, it is much better to see other newscasts and rank their views against the information I gained. Because over several national papers and sources, I see a pattern, but that pattern is subjective to the quality of the data that is linked to the issues. So the new parts are added within the original parts, see what you make of it.

11/5
Just as I was about to start reading Iran: Politics, Gulf Security, and U.S. Policy, by Kenneth Katzman, other news reaches me. We could Katzman do be the writer of suspense. Some see him as the new Kazuo Ishiguro, another version of ‘Remains of the State’. You see, the banks want to talk about Iran. The quote “There are now opportunities for foreign banks to do business with Iran” is one that Sky TV had. The story by Katzman gives us “Sanctions on Iran’s Central Bank. CISADA bans accounts with banks that do business with the Revolutionary Guard and sanctioned entities and the Department of the Treasury in November 2011 declared Iran’s financial system an entity of primary money laundering concern“, which is now an issue on more than one level. When I state story, I do not mean that Katzman fabricated anything. It is a good read, in light of a few issues, it is almost a mandatory read if you need to be aware of certain events. You see, the paper even though decently up to date remains absent of clear Hezbollah facts. The fact that the area near Baalbek is now Hezbollah grounds due to a municipality election is the smallest of the problems. You see, the Shahab-3 seems to have been made ‘available’ for Hezbollah, this gives them direct intervention capabilities for both Syria and Israel. This is not in the light of Katzman (it was not his focus), but Michael Rubin gives us the goods in Joint Hearing on “Israel Imperiled: Threats to the Jewish State”, which was meant to be for the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Non-proliferation, and Trade Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa. It is a mouthful, but so is the Shahab-3 (please do not swallow that load).

The issue is twofold!

In the first the direct powder keg is that the Shahab can now hit Israel (most important Eilat, which has rarely been a real target), Cairo as well as Amman. If the delivery becomes fact, the Hezbollah dynamic will change a lot of issues, all at the same time. These issues are not massive, they seem to be scaremongering for the most, even if that is a position that Israel cannot support, she does recognize the low reality of it happening initially, that is until there is a stronger Iranian presence, Hezbollah is unlikely to push this strategical issue.

15/5
In the previous parts I had considerable open sources of information, yet there was an issue that did not ring complete. I had access to other sources in the past and in combination this gets a lot more reliability. For this we need to take a step back and look at my article from September 2014 (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2014/09/19/to-be-deserted. Yes, that long ago!) Here we see “There are a little over 3 million Syrian refugees, they are placed all over Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq, Egypt, Algeria, Sweden, Bahrain, Germany, Libya and a few other nations. During all this time, these places had casualties too and they are not part of the 160,000 casualties, which is why I think the Syrian death toll is a lot higher. In all honesty, did you remember these refugees? I feel 100% certain ISIS has not forgotten them and if they are recruiting there we are in for one hell of a wake-up call soon enough. If there is any strength in number then these new ISIS members will be most likely in Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey“, which implies that I was correct to some extent. You see I expected ISIS to be he recruiter and perhaps they are. Yet when we consider the quote “Terje Roed-Larsen expressed serious concern that not only have Hezbollah and other militias continued their activities since the Security Council ordered them to disband in 2004, “but if anything they have expanded.” He also expressed concern at the reported expansion of extremist groups, mostly in Palestinian refugee camps“, Terje Roed-Larsen is a UN envoy, which now gives a lot of weight to these events (source: Ynetnews.com). This now gives additional weight to the issues that are playing. The smugglers in Turkey, the paths towards Europe and the now viable dangers that refugees are in Europe, especially France. Consider the issues that the Intelligence branch will end up with soon enough. Refugees that are radicalised, basically Lone Wolves with assistance from every bleeding humanitarian group on social media. The additional hardship will be that they will cry foul and failure when things blow up in their face.

11/5
In the second we have the Hezbollah and France issue. There is a storm brewing and the quote ““This is a problem that Israel is creating and it may spark a war,” a parliamentary source told Lebanese news site Naharnet” is only one part of it. The second part is “The meeting between Hollande and Lebanese MP Mohammad Ra’ad, which had been requested by Hezbollah, was cancelled over “conflicts” with the international community“, which is linked to all this. Now we have all kind of ‘statements’ by middle level people, usually for the realm of seeking the limelight and get some home front votes. This gives rise to the situation that Hezbollah is not a situation, yet that is not true either. The UK is starting to be a cesspool of approaching extremism. As security issues evolve in Europe and the UK, we will see conflicts and escalations. There is no way to predict the direction this is taking, tactically France will become a strategic target, the reality of how much of a target they could become cannot be predicted at present. Yet, it is not just Hezbollah by themselves, how far is Hezbollah willing to take their friendship with Iran?

15/5
The previous part was one that I was very willing to throw overboard. Yet in all this there is a snag, a snag that might have been used before. The Independent (at http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/after-splitting-with-al-qaeda-al-nusra-is-being-presented-to-the-west-as-a-moderate-force-it-s-a7022271.html) gave me this, which I did not attach for more than one reason initially “Al-Nusra is being presented to the West as a moderate force. It’s nothing of the sort” as well as “Nusra, according to Lister, is “rebuilding a military coalition and plans to soon initiate major offensive operations south of Aleppo” in order to spoil US and Russian efforts for a truce in the city. The best way of thwarting Al-Qaeda’s ambitions “is to dramatically scale up assistance to vetted [sic] military and civil components [sic, again] of the mainstream opposition inside Syria,”“, it becomes a part when we consider the quote from Terje Roed-Larsen (the UN envoy) “Hezbollah’s involvement in the conflicts in Syria and more recently Iraq risks a spill over of sectarian tensions into Lebanon where the Islamic State extremist group and the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front are reported to be expanding“, this gives weight to an option I considered, but with other players. It is not too far a jump to consider that Al-Nusra is sending radicalised refugees in France and sour whatever Hezbollah has been trying to build. A tactic that would please Iran as it gives Hezbollah only one path and all at the back and call of certain Iranian players.

11/5
There are issues and France winning a billion plus deal for Australian submarines is where the plot thickens and where we see that no one is truly happy to be alive over the issues rising in the Middle East. Only now do we see in the news how Brexit will accelerate other nations leaving the EU. Something I clearly foretold months ago, actually, the better part of a year ago. These issues now call Australia into the game and that is where things tend to get complex fast. You see, this 40 billion dollar deal is one both sides want to maintain, so Australia is about to get involved in the Frexit mess, because when that goes and the French Franc returns, the price of those waterproof dinghies will go up by a fair bit, second, in this deal Australia becomes a stronger target for extremists, so now we get another petulant extremist child to deal with.

This is where I was on May 10th, one day later we get (20 minutes ago, at http://www.breakingisraelnews.com/67466/israel-reportedly-targets-hezbollah-weapons-convoy-along-lebanon-syria-border), the quote “Unconfirmed reports indicate that Israel has targeted Hezbollah terrorists and a weapons convoy along the Lebanese-Syrian border” has one specific word you must not forget, namely ‘unconfirmed‘. When we consider that Iran has been found engraving missiles with the phrase that translating as ‘Israel must be wiped out‘, it is clear that there is an issue. That part has been discussed at length in the past year. The issue is now not just what the missiles can hit, it is the distance that they can travel to and the shipment of the missiles. The airstrike is only an indication of a possible threat (small arms versus missiles), the continued escalation in Aleppo, that whilst America is now trying to rely on diplomacy (it is likely the only option they can afford), seems to be a not so great a choice. I am careful to phrase it in that way, because so far, there is no evidence that an abundance of American Troops in the Middle-East was ever a decent solution past World War 2, but that could be my wrongful insight.

Now we get to France. This is a hard one to sell, you see there are a few sides here, but there is also a negative implications in this place. From my point of view there is a stronger escalation because of two reasons. The first is the now growing demand that is founded on anti-Islam growth. At present 47 percent of France believes that Islam is cultural harmful to France and the French. That number is not making the immigrated Muslims into France feel any better. The fact that France arrested Lebanese money launderers for trying to up their visibilities remains an element, so we can easily conclude that this issue is far from over.

Now the final part, how does Australia fit? Consider the 40 billion involved and France is making them underwater dinghies. What would be a bigger target than a 40 billion product which could massively impact French industrialisation? Now let’s be clear, an issue as it exists is not a prelude to organised violence, I will be the first one to admit that. What is a given is that the escalations that involve the Arab League is still evolving, with the ties that Hezbollah has with Iran, that issue will not go away any day soon, not to mention the other players growing their line of support.

So, how does Australia fit in all this?

It does not fit into it as a nation, but if I was working for the other side, it would be the submarines (aka them underwater dinghies) that I would target. This is not a secret, it makes tactical sense, so for the time being France will have new levels of security requirements in Lorient, Brest, Nantes and Cherbourg. These places only seem isolated! With the growing concern of refugees comes the issue that 0.1% could be travelling with ulterior motives, now apply that issue with any ship yard or industrial site. Good luck with the idea of ‘security’ in such a place! That concern is not just a figment of my imagination. France is facing issues it never faced before and as such, no matter how well its security teams are trained, the environment is working against them. The openness of a shipyard has always been an issue on a global scale, the fact that the negative elements are in France and could be targeting the French economy was never an illusion. Whether such an attack can be solved is not the question. The question becomes can all attacks be stopped 100%, which taking the locations in Brest alone is already a trying exercise. It is not just the shipyard, it is what is across the ‘narrow’ stretch of water is an equal source of concern. Cherbourg has partial dangers and in addition the concerns of ferries to deal with. This has made it a target for refugees, so security now has the additional challenge of finding the difference of a person praying for humane treatment and an optional few looking to exploit the humane treatment by the local population. The other two has equally concerns on several levels.

In all this it is important to realise that Hezbollah denounced the Paris attacks, that Hezbollah was not part of the attacks on France in recent history, this makes the statement that we got from Naharnet not less real, this factor is still an ‘option’ as each party in the Middle-East has their own levels of extremist leaders and the fact that there is pressure on France is an absolute given, yet in what shape such attacks would/could take shape

These escalations are only increasing as France is now moving towards Frexit. If Brexit becomes fact the pressures in France will only sharply increase.

 

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Slaves of a different nature

The sci-fi fan sees in his/her mind a woman, all green, preferably close to naked growing lust in their mind. It is the Orion Slave girl fantasy. This comes from a TV-series that is half a century old. In that universe created by Gene Roddenberry these green ladies were introduced in the original pilot of the Star Trek series in the episode ‘the Cage’, there they were depicted in a sexual context. This is not that kind of slave. Neither is it the kind that is forced to create products through prisons or work camps where they make license plates, or set up governmental mailings. Neither are they children under 18, forced into some kind of servitude. No, these are not one of the 5 forms that the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center is illuminating, this is a sixth kind.

It is the kind of servitude that was once a calling, once a choice of life, which governments and insurers alike have been putting under pressure beyond any normal acceptance of labour. That part has been ignored for too long. People all believing in the wealth that a doctors and lawyers income brings. Later in a career that might have some level of truth when you ignore the elements on the other side of the scale. The fact that someone in IT will surpass the income of those graduates from the very beginning is often ignored. When I see some of my friends in health care, I see friends who are exhausted 70% of the time, some working in excess of 14 hours a day. So when I read ‘Nearly 60% of Scottish GPs plan to leave or cut their hours‘ (at http://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/apr/28/nearly-60-of-scottish-gps-plan-to-leave-or-cut-their-hours), I am not overly surprised.

We all claim that we are against slavery and injustice, yet the governments on a global scale are seeing their health systems collapse and as such, hiding behind the false image of all doctors are wealthy, they have been cutting into the incomes of doctors and stretching the hours they have to make. Underfunding practices and making them work ungodly hours. What we see in Scotland is only the beginning. In the Netherlands we saw in 2014 that GP’s would work around 60 hours per FTA (Full Time Equivalent), making that 13 hours per day, whilst IT staff would get more for a mere 40-45 hours a week, 9 hours a day at the most.

So in all this, whilst health care workers availability are at an all-time low, we see the quote: “26% planned to leave general practice in the next five years“, so one out of four is stopping whilst one in 6 patients will at current pressure not receive the minimum level of care which will now get close to another 1.5 out of 6. This gives us 33% to 50% of the patients in a tough spot. One foot in the grave will get a whole new meaning soon enough when that comes to pass. Certain elements of these changes are already visible in France and the Netherlands, the United Kingdom is in a harsher place than the Netherlands, but I cannot confirm how France is set. Outside of the large cities the information tends to be sketchy and cannot completely be relied upon (read: my knowledge of French sucks big time). Sweden is heading towards a new economic crises on more than one side. Healthcare is one (but less visible), the issue that is visible is the economic drain that the refugees are causing, well over 100,000 have no place and no matter how obliging Sweden is. The refugees are confronted with language issues and a skill set problem. The latter one can partially be adjusted, the first one can be overcome by the refugees who truly want this, but it takes time, which is one side Sweden is having less of. Sweden is trying to recruit doctors in many ways and their approach might work, but it will work slowly and it will cost the Swedish government a fortune. The reason for focussing on Sweden is because for the most, Sweden is a social success. Sweden has made social changes that the nation accepted (including paying a lot more tax than there neighbouring nations). The refugees are changing this, a social system can only survive in balance, the refugees arrived in such massive amounts that the system cannot cope. The total refugees that recently arrived have surpassed the size of the Swedish city of Västerås, which by the way is not the smallest of places. With the banking in disarray and Sweden missing sales marks gives additional problems for Sweden and healthcare will feel the brunt as doctors are now moving to other non-Swedish shores. Sweden illuminates the required need for the UK, a need that the UK is unable to adopt at present. In addition, the approach that Jeremy Hunt is taking will not help any.

When we see the British Telecom News page, we see “But in a letter to the BMA’s junior doctor committee chairman, Dr Johann Malawana, Mr Hunt said: “It is not now possible to change or delay the introduction of this contract without creating unacceptable disruption for the NHS.”

As I see it, my response would be ‘Yes, Mr Hunt!‘ you had alternatives but you chose to ignore them. Focussed on a system that had collapsed, focussing on the approach of slavery, you saw in your school years the Slavery Abolition Act 1833, yet as we see the words from the English poet William Cowper (1785) as he wrote:

We have no slaves at home – Then why abroad?
Slaves cannot breathe in England; if their lungs
Receive our air, that moment they are free.
They touch our country, and their shackles fall.
That’s noble, and bespeaks a nation proud.
And jealous of the blessing. Spread it then,
And let it circulate through every vein.

 

Bankers are overprotected whilst being vultures, for not being held accountable for the mess they created (as it was not illegal), whilst at the same speed, junior doctors are reset with contracts that amounts to becoming an involuntary slave labour force. This to the degree that doctors are packing their cases and moving to Australia and other Commonwealth nations that will take them and with the shortage the world at large has, for them moving to Nassau and live by the beach with a small practice would be preferred to a city job with a mortgage they cannot pay off and working 60 hours a week. Jeremy Hunt dropped the ball. He did not do this intentionally. He was given a bad hand from the start, yet in all this instead of going on the same way, the NHS needed another direction entirely, that part was never really investigated.

For me, with whatever I have left?

If I had to go into healthcare, I would try for Radiologist position in Essex or something like that. I still have 15 years in me. For now, I have a nice idea for Google to grow their revenue by 3.5 billion dollars over the next 5 years, and gradually more after that and for £25M post taxation it is all theirs! For now, I am considering to do some teaching in Italy in the future. Teaching English in Catholic Public Schools near the Vatican. You see, this crazy merry go round we have in Europe now will collapse, there is no viable way to stop that at present as I personally see it. We must focus on what comes after. That part is now gaining visibility as we see the US President (read: Mr Lame Duck Obama) is quoted in Forbes “President Obama’s Implicit Message To Taxpayers: ‘I Own You’“. My response?

No, Mr President, you do not. You never did. Like a weakling you stopped taking taxation to a realistic level, you refused to do anything to stop greed. That part was clearly shown at the G-20 in 2013, three years ago. You might actually end up becoming the most useless president in the history of the United States of America

That would be my response!

When we look at Forbes (at http://www.forbes.com/sites/johntamny/2016/04/10/president-obamas-implicit-message-to-taxpayers-i-own-you), we see that the Obama treasury stopped one deal, one deal only. This is about a lot more than just that 212 billion dollar deal. You see, this is not about the Panama Papers, this is what they enabled. When we consider the Guardian (at http://www.theguardian.com/news/2016/may/06/panama-papers-us-launches-crackdown-on-international-tax-evasion), we see that same duckling state “the president will take executive action to close loopholes used by foreigners in the US and call on Congress to pass legislation“, how interesting that it is just about the foreigners, so how much is in Rothschild wealth management directly from foreigners and how much is arranged through American agents?

In addition we have “The Panama Papers underscore the importance of the efforts the United States has taken domestically, and the efforts we have undertaken with our international partners, to address these shared challenges”, which is an empty statement as I see it, because over the next 6 months too little will be done and it will be left to the next person in office. The final quote is “The problem is that a lot of this stuff is legal, not illegal”, which is something we already knew. Yet when we consider the change that could have been brought in 2013, he (read: the Democratic Administration in power) backed off, forcing a watered down version that was close to useless. This is the evidence I see as to the level of uselessness that the USA currently represents. Poverty levels are still at a high and in Europe that number is growing, this is the foundation that allows for the growth of what can be regarded as legal slavery. It is legal because it is governmentally arranged, it is slavery as the medical industry is pushed into a level of servitude of no-choice. In Europe, some are now claiming that the amount of people under the poverty line is now one out of four. That push is a great hammer for Jeremy Hunt to use to push for cheap contracts and ungodly working hours, but in the end, when doctors stop working, there is no NHS to continue to cure people (source: http://www.euractiv.com/section/social-europe-jobs/news/eurostat-one-out-of-four-eu-citizens-at-risk-of-poverty/).

There is no clear solution, but another path needs to be taken. The push from NHS and the deal that people get through what I call ‘deceptive insurances‘ and ‘skewed medicinal solutions‘ is changing the game. It now reflects back towards the change I was willing to make. What if we make hospitals self-sufficient? What if we take the insurance out of the equation and push for a self-sustaining level of hospitals on local foundations? You might think that the given logic forces us to look at Behemoths like the NHS and large medical corporations. I am stating that it is my belief that the medical gravy train is losing too much cargo on route. So it is our need to have a neutral solution. When medical suppliers start pushing on ‘how it will be too expensive that way‘, the people will have to push back. So that means that the UK hospitals start getting supplies from other sources, independent and possibly even non-UK sources. How long until greed driven corporations cave? They only need to fail 2 quarters of forecasting and THEIR nightmare begins! Trust me when I state that a merger making the board of directors over 200 billion means that their margins were really really good and via Ireland they were only getting better.

That is the issue and solving that is a first step in solving the slavery riddle, which is not a riddle, it is a mere puzzle that can and should be solved.

 

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European Exodus Community

There is a reality that people seem to miss. There is a reality that the people at large have been ignoring for far too long. Big business had been until early this year trivialising the entire Brexit issue. Some started the catchphrase ‘Bremain’, but that went out of fashion fast. At some point, in October 2015 something expected happened. An American opened his mount (in this case Trade representative Michael Froman), which gave the Britons “If you leave EU you face barriers to trading with America“, Is that really so? In my view, if the Democratic Party does not get its A-game in place, many will not want to be in trade with a nation that cannot pay its bill anyway. You see, if Brexit becomes a reality, the Euro will take a sizeable dive, which will also hurt the US Dollar. More important, as the US has not been able to keep any kind of control on their budgeting, the US issue would take additional tumbles. Consider that the US exports $57 billion to the UK, should one direction fall away, than so does the other direction, you see pharmaceuticals can come from India, Vehicles can come from Japan and Medical Technical equipment can come from places like the Netherlands (to some extent). We are looking at an easy 12 billion going somewhere else. So that part is not a given, yes, UK export might have a few hitches, yet when other players are found for at least 20 billion in goods, new arrangements will be an option (very fast), not so much for the US of A.

Yet, I get it. The USA is afraid, very afraid because of what the Euro changes will bring and their fear is escalating. This we get from Euractiv (at https://www.euractiv.com/section/uk-europe/news/majority-of-french-back-holding-frexit-referendum/), who is now proclaiming that “53% of French surveyed would like to hold a referendum on their country’s continued EU membership“, an issue I saw coming a long time ago. i was the first one keeping my eye on this, and even as Hollande and Sarkozy are trying to make other ‘arrangements’ they now realise that non-compliance with the French voters will mean that the bulk will demand Marine Le Pen be elected, another prediction I saw coming. More important, should Brexit be averted, than Frexit still remains a real risk. It implies that American will almost be forced to send their own Al Jolson European Tour 2016-2017, yet unlike Al Jolson, this tour will not be a sell-out success, it will be seen as a painful reminder of America not cleaning ‘house’ in the 2004-2009 era. An era that brought many nations to the edge of despair. Now we see the Obama administration trying the option of Al Jolson singing ‘can I have a little more please‘, an idea many Europeans will regard as offensive. The changes will give additional worry. From one perspective, if the dollar collapses, export from America should go through the roof, but the overly mismanaged economy gives a clear clarion call that the funds to cate to this need would end up being insufficient. The latter part is my own speculation, I have no hard numbers supporting that part. From all the export, one in eight is about machinery. This seems to be a solid one, especially from the excellence in the past, yet in all this we in equal measure ignore that the US is not the only place to get this stuff, so if a part will move to an Asian provider, American wealth numbers will take a sharp dive, all that because Michael Froman seemed to have forgotten that they are not the only player in town.

Yet I digress!

There is now the realistic concern that a European Exodus could hit the community, a real danger, which also means that certain borders will come into a different play. This will impact the USA as well as Europe. Yet instead of a clear summary, the press seems to be throwing too much in the air with emotional plays from both sides of that isle which I consider to be not so productive. We see not so helpful articles by Jane McConnell on ‘why Brexit would be apocalyptic for the games industry‘ with quotes like “British gaming receives a wealth of talent and funding as a result of being in the EU“, which is a joke to say the least. When we see PC Gamer giving us info regarding Ubisoft Montreal “but it was built primarily on the strength of Quebec’s generous subsidies and tax breaks, and with a newly-elected government facing serious debt problems, those breaks are being cut back. That has CEO Yannis Mallat taking another look at the studio’s long-term future“, so that billion Euro firm in France is ‘surviving’ due to tax breaks. (at http://www.pcgamer.com/ubisoft-ceo-ponders-reductions-to-quebec-tax-breaks/). Now, remember that this article is 2 years old. So basically in the time that Ubisoft created mere mediocrity in gaming. In all that time only the recently released ‘the Division‘ seems to be up to critical scrap. So how about not catering to tax breaks? The final argument “and thanks to the EU working time directive, we are guaranteed 20 days a year of paid annual leave, offering us all us all at least one day we can happily set aside for binge playing. That’s worth remembering“, how interesting that she relies on that part, not on the part of government accountability which is actually driving people away. In addition, remember Markus Persson, simple small software firm in Sweden? It made over 2 billion in the end (from Minecraft). So, let’s not cater to mediocrity! The same issue can be stated for Hello Games. It is about the reset the bar for gaming quality, both small firms, just the two visible in a group of dozens. These tax breaks are there for the small players, but they have been overwhelmingly used by large players to not dig into the ‘quality setting’ frontiers they should have been in.

I feel personally decently certain that Brexit is becoming a reality. If the press would focus on truth and fact, not on emotion to sway the people, there would be a certainty that Brexit will be. It will drive Frexit too. The EEC will become a near death-trap for the last one in, which means that Italy will not be in a happy place between 2017 and 2018. I expect it will drive the membership numbers of Lega Nord with Matteo Salvini, I cannot tell how strong, because I know too little of the other Italian players. Yet in all this, certain other players are rearing its ugly head. You see, when we go back to November 2015 we see a paper by Natixis (at http://cib.natixis.com/flushdoc.aspx?id=88106), there we see “In the worst case scenario, the United Kingdom leaves the EU and does not join the European Free Trade Association; there would then be custom tariffs between the United Kingdom and the EU, but given the size of the trade flows, the impact on the economies would be limited. The United Kingdom has a very small industry and its exports of services, which are very specialised, would probably not be too severely affected“, this is the view I also ‘synched’ to. Basically, the bad sides of the EU towards the UK are massively larger than the good sides. The Natixis paper by Patrick Artus might not be complete, but it gives the goods that matter, from that point of view.

You see, the short-sighted users of a spreadsheet forgot the drive that Brexit could have, the view I predicted already in 2014. In addition, the growth and danger that right parties all over Europe became, fuelling one another is a side I did not see coming either. In addition to that view, we saw in November that Wolf Richter, Wolf Street in Business insider had “A Brexit would be ‘a non-event’“. I wonder where that came from. Oh no, I need not wonder because they mention Natixis and quote the relevant parts.

So what changed?

Well, the part I foresaw and everyone ignored is that Frexit is slowly becoming a reality. Now we have ourselves a lot more than a mere horserace, because this is what Natixis can’t use. It is in massive parts a French conglomerate, not a global one. In that regard Frexit will impact on Natixis as a whole. In this I mean that Natixis will see its profit margins decrease by a fair bit (we are talking a game of billions here), whilst in equal part limit certain economic movements and options. That makes it a different event. And the less we say about the impact on the US the better. Ah, here I am wrong!

You see, Lieutenant general Frederick Benjamin Hodges gives us the following last Tuesday (at http://www.reuters.com/article/us-britain-eu-usa-idUSKCN0WH0QJ), we get ‘Brexit would weaken NATO versus Russia‘, which is not entirely correct, is it Freddie? It is not a lie either! The mess seems complicated but it is not. We can agree that the General is under orders here. I reckon massively from his Commander in Chief who dropped the ball several times and is sending the General out into an economic field that is not ‘his’ theatre of war. Here is the part that is unwritten (not by me), whilst everyone was looking at Lehman Brothers and other Wall Street players, they all forgot about Natixis, who has a wealth portfolio that delivers an annual return that outranks more than just a few EU nations. When that limits and dwindles many players will panic, because the survival of some is now depending on continuity. Something that behind the screens of Brexit and Frexit comes to terms. With Brexit there was enough time to make adjustments, with Frexit that time will not be there, apart from the fact that it will force Germany to take a different course (one that is expected, but cannot be predicted). In all this that is only one element. The General is right that NATO will weaken, what is not given is that it will change the expenditure that some nations are making, which will directly hit Raytheon, Northrop Grumman, Boeing and Lockheed Martin, which will now be a sizeable dent in the American economy too. Apart from a collapsing Euro, America will get hit by a double whammy, that part is not given (it is ignored by too many), not shown and not elaborated on. It is how expenditure changes. NATO existed since long before the Euro was a reality, but as those evolutions were taken, by lowering defence spending on a national level in Europe, we see that this ignored cluster will have serious consequences, very much so for the American military hardware industry.

Can I be wrong?

That is what matter, for me as much as for you the reader. We will be depending on two elements, Is Brexit a reality in the first and will it force Frexit in the second. The first is less up in the air, but not a given, in the second, when Brexit happens, Frexit will be a certainty. Even if Brexit does not happen now, the French are worried and they do not want to be the last in the row of decision makers as Italy currently is, the fact that 53% want this referendum is worrying to many players (except for Marine Le Pen). Both Francois Hollande and Nicolas Sarkozy cannot ignore the cries of the French, if they do, they will feel the discomfort that Marie Antoinette had on October 16th 1793 (well, one can fantasize, can one not?), because France is for the French (as they see it), not for the Americans. They will come down hard on their government, which is playing perfectly into the hands of Marine Le Pen. No matter what happens, with or without Brexit. Germany cannot sustain the environment without the other three players, which places the UK now in a tactical predicament. Relying on France to keep cool, this is what drives Brexit to additional momentum.

So all this will drive the European Exodus Community, to some extent people, because national business needs the motivated people to get businesses working and moving forward, but for the most it will be about small businesses in a national setting. Those who adapt fast will grow. Larger corporations will feel the disastrous drag of not changing gears, of not adapting to the new environment, mainly because those head offices (many in America and Asia) will not comprehend the old systems that drove them and the changes required to make them. Those depending on decision makers will find that delays will cost increasingly until (often enough) the decision has been made too late. Rowing against the current will be a new slogan that larger players will have to deal with, driving their talents to smaller places where speed is available. This exodus environment will hit in many places, in many layers on several fronts. A front where only the adjusted will make headway. I wonder whether 2018 will be the year of culling the corporate herd. It is too soon to tell, but it will for the most depend on the brethren Brexit and Frexit both leaving this rocky boat called EEC!

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Comprehension

At times, I am at a loss. This is one of those times, and it started as I was confronted with the article ‘Treat surrogate parents as sex offenders, says Italian minister’ (at http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jan/06/treat-surrogates-sex-offenders-italian-minister-angelino-alfano). You see, here I have two levels of confusion.

Let me explain. The first level involves the women that do this. I do not mean this in any negative way! I get it when it is family, but even then, there is part of me that does not quite grasps it. There is nothing as noble as ‘to give thine own body’. You see, no matter how noble it is, I could never fathom a surrogate mother, not her way or her intent, but the fact that once the baby was born that she would have the strength to part with it. We see and read on how teenage girls offer children up for adoption, mainly because they were not ready and they are unable to care for the child and the child might end up having a much better life. In those instances we try to be understanding, but we all realise that this could eat away at the soul of the young woman who did this. There have been many books and many movies, yet the reality is that only that mother can truly state and express what it felt like.

I think it would not be a pretty picture.

So in that light, understanding that a surrogate mother might actually be capable of raising that child, the willingness to part with it is incomprehensible to me, and I need not comprehend. In all this, I never looked negative against the woman who made that choice. So when I read ‘Angelino Alfano says ‘wombs for rent’ should be punishable with prison, as he suggests new laws will make it easier for gay couples to use surrogate mothers‘, I wonder what kind of an idiot Angelino Alfano actually is. Is he just anti-gay, is he anti-surrogate? From what I read I feel certain that he is anti-intelligent!

Now we get to the religious part, because Italy is all about Catholics. At times I think that Italy is all about Catholics, food and adultery, but we get to that soon enough. So, you’ll see some scriptures, but again, reasoning later.

So Angelino Alfano, answer me this, of all your friends who committed adultery, Leviticus 20:10 “If any man commit adultery with the wife of another, and defile his neighbour’ s wife, let them be put to death, both the adulterer and the adulteress“, so how many of those ‘friends’ did you put to death? Or perhaps we should take a look at his actions as stated by the Financial Times on October 2nd 2013 (at http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/a142b3a8-2b46-11e3-a1b7-00144feab7de.html#axzz3wXhbQy5b), where we see: “the young Sicilian lawyer has been compared to Judas Iscariot in leading a betrayal of his long-time mentor“. Interesting, so who was that Judas Iscariot person? I wonder if there was a punishment for treason, so in all that, it should be clear that  Angelino Alfano should not be making too many statements for a few reasons (read: I will not remove his freedom of speech, just request he keeps a centre of discretion with all his alleged transgressions).

Now, for the other side.

In the Epistle Of Saint Paul To The Philippians 2:3 we see “Let nothing be done through contention, neither by vain glory: but in humility, let each esteem others better than themselves“, it seems that the happiness for the others is taken in much higher regard. In following there is Timothy 1, where at 6:18 we see “To do good, to be rich in good works, to give easily, to communicate to others,” and finally in Corinthians 10:23-24 we see: “All things are lawful for me, but all things do not edify. Let no man seek his own, but that which is another’s

At face value women who did this have done a Samaritan act of sacrifice and goodness against their nature but not an unnatural one. In a tale of two villages where a storm destroys the bakery of one, should the other baker not make available the oven so that the other village will not perish? Is that such a far stretch? So in that same light should a man of such hypocritical disposition not be shunned for his words and actions? When we read “Treating couples who use surrogate mothers as sex criminals, as Alfano suggested, would entail harsh penalties“, you see the subtext ‘couples who use surrogate mothers‘ is part of this and he seems to be driven to label this as ‘forms of human sexual behaviour that are crimes‘, are they? You see, legally speaking, the intent was given as ‘who use‘, yet this is not the case, the surrogate mother volunteered, which is not the same, she offered and was not used. This now gives us the path he might try to walk which is ‘Treating surrogate mothers who volunteer assistance to same sex couples as sex criminals‘. It seems to get a little dicey now, doesn’t it! As any Samaritan act of good intent is usually not prosecutable. So what started this?

You see, surrogacy is illegal in Italy and that, even if some would considered it to be ‘the act of a non-enlightened nation‘, it is the legal premise that Italy is allowed to make, so when Angelino Alfano comes with the quote “We want ‘wombs for rent’ to become a universal crime. And that it is punished with prison. Just as happens for sexual crimes”, we should all question what is in his mind, perhaps it is the voice of some obscure cleric from Sicily (his origins) who has a massive anti-gay agenda. Perhaps this is not about any of that! Remember the Financial Times part? That is a while ago, but his position is nowhere stable, in addition, in Politico we see “Last month, Angelino Alfano, Italy’s interior minister, described as a “symbol of victory” a plane carrying 19 young Eritreans from Ciampino airport in Rome to Luleå in Sweden. Italy, he said, would send an additional 100 people “in the next few days”” (at http://www.politico.eu/article/why-eu-refugee-relocation-policy-has-been-a-flop-frontex-easo-med/), the UNHCR reveals that on December 31st 2015 153,600 refugees had arrived in Italy, 97,584 on Angelino’s island of Sicily (read: 63.53125% roughly). So is this really about the surrogacy issue, or is he just making waves especially as he heralded a new home for 19 of those refugees (aka 0.000012369%) with the additional 100, meaning he got a solution for 0.000077473%, yes we can all see where the importance of Angelino Alfano is. It is in the smallest of margins where we see his actions, so as I read this, I am not convinced it is his ‘anti’ approach in all this, it is his need for visibility as I see it and he is not doing it in the most intelligent way imaginable.

Instead of an actual effort to solve the logistics of the refugee tsunami that hits Italy and his island Sicily, we see a surrogacy and an anti-gay tainted pass ono a group that can find a sheltered solution outside of Italy, so instead of solving the problems Italy does have (aside of the 2,230,198,602,275 € debt Italy has at present), we see another politician waste time, space and energy on a topic that is not his to solve and one that has absolutely no solving value for Italy at all.

In all this I feel decently certain that even the Bishop of Rome would side with me that although it is a discussion worthy of the Cardinals Conclave, these women might be beautified for their divine compassion 100% sooner than Angelino Alfano ever will.

Now for me, I have always been leaning towards man-made or positive laws. I feel that the interpretation is important and that we do not always have the wisdom to properly interpret, which is why I have always been a fan of Dr BJ McEniery’s article ‘Physicality in Australian patent law’, which was published in the Deakin Law Review. You see Intellectual property has always been under powerful evolutions, yet the fact that long ago there was a clear understanding that physicality was something that would evolve and the law had no way off seeing how and towards what is always in the back of my mind. Ignoring Natural law is therefore equally stupid. As a Catholic I tend to be more Christian than Catholic, where it is important to see and weigh the intent on the person, so even as I do not rule out the less Samaritan paths a surrogate mother could be on, the powerful drive within any mother would counter this strongly whenever possible, which gets me to the positivity of their act against the trivial and self-righteous mindset of Angelino Alfano and on that scale he does not fare well.

So even if you disagree with my choices of bible passages, there is almost no way where you can consider in favour of the trivial path Mr Alfano is on. I would hope that his holiness the Bishop of Rome would sooner rather than later (as well as several members of the curie) would consider speaking out that the need to solve the suffering of 153,600 refugees take a massive priority over the possible issue that a handful of surrogate mothers might bring, especially when they are openly and voluntarily offering their Samaritan womb on this. So if Angelino Alfano ever (in a legal Samaritan way) rescues the plight of 1536 refugees (aka 1%), only then if any energy is left should he look at small and insignificant issues. but by that time his political reign has ended and the press will not have any time for him as they will be wanting to hear from the next elected official.

There are many issues that plague Europe, some we might never fix, some we can possibly fix and some can be fixed, do we really need to look at issues that do not presently require fixing?

I will let you be the judge of that, but for those who do have a Christian background they still adhere to remember the Gospel According to Saint Matthew (7:1) “Judge not, that you may not be judged, for with what judgment you judge, you shall be judged: and with what measure you mete, it shall be measured to you again“, which is good advice, advice that might be a little too late for Angelino Alfano if we are to believe the Divine Comedy. For was it not Antenora where the transgressors of treason of party and nations ended up, to be frozen in ice up to the neck? Now, let’s be fair, Mr Alfano is no Count Ugolino della Gherardesca, yet as we see the credits he heralds in whilst Italy remains in dire need and he voices his view to a ‘universal solution’ where Italy has no problem, where is his actual allegiance and as such is that not utterly detestable? Yes it is, which does not make it treason or treacherous, yet as Italian Minister of the Interior, his responsibility is for internal security and the protection of the constitutional order. As such he can prosecute surrogacy within Italy, yet it does not mean that it is his job to waste time for the change of a ‘universal solution’, especially as surrogate mothers are in no way an internal security issue, yet the 153,481 (if he ever got the additional 100 towards refugees towards Sweden) might be. As I see it, the refugee logistics fall squarely in his lap, an issue he does not seem to be addressing, which we should regard as a failed level of comprehension on his side.

 

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United we classify others

Two articles hit me a few days ago. One of them was an article describing a survey by the Reputation Institute. The news article titled ‘Tel Aviv ranked among least reputable cities‘. The article was found at http://www.timesofisrael.com/tel-aviv-ranked-among-least-reputable-cities/. This was an issue for me, because I have been to Tel Aviv. Why would it not be reputable, or at least one of the more reputable cities. In all that I wonder, because the top 600 cities (by population) are larger than Tel Aviv with its 425,000 people. So coming in at 92 whilst 600 are larger is still a good achievement. What puzzles me in all this is the part ‘least reputable cities‘. What makes a city reputable? I did not see the research or the questionnaire, but when we see “the Reputation Institute, asked 19,000 residents of France, Germany, Italy, the UK, Japan, the US, Canada and Russia to rank the world’s top 101 cities based on their levels of trust, esteem, admiration and respect“.

Trust, “In a social context, trust has several connotations“, which is nice yet did the interviewees realise that? The paper (at http://misrc.umn.edu/workingpapers/fullpapers/1996/9604_040100.pdf) gives a nice view on how trust is not an easy thing to tackle. at Page 43 we read “one can develop a good relationship with another person by gradually increasing Trusting behaviour, while at the same time decreasing any minor control measures directed at the other person. Decreasing controls includes less ‘checking up’ on the other person. It also includes moving from a formal relationship to a more personal, informal relationship

Which is nice when we consider that Russia, land of GRU and FSB gives way to ‘decreasing any minor control measures directed at the other person’, so do the interviewees from Russia consider trust the way a person from Sweden, the Netherlands or even Uruguay does? I can go on for the other nations, but in all, many have a feeling towards Israel, their view is biased from day one. Plenty with an anti-Israeli view, some with an anti-Jewish view, the probability of a mean will not apply here.

Then we get ‘esteem’, are they looking upon Tel Aviv in a particular way? Are they confusing esteem with ‘self-esteem’? All questions that go through my mind. We could state that Bagdad in last position is validly there, but over what level of reasoning? Because it is in a warzone?

Yet, do my thoughts invalidate the results? The paper as shown does give a solid foundation, the methodology sounds sound. In that I state ‘sounding sound’ is not entirely on the ball. You see, the heart of the respondent, how does that come in? The study overview states “G8 general public (only people who were ‘somewhat’ or ‘very’ familiar)” Yet what makes you somewhat or very familiar? How many Non-Jewish people who have been to Tel Aviv answered this? How many know this place. I was there, and I felt safer there than in Budapest (and Budapest is a decent and safe city). Tel Aviv scored less than Johannesburg, Hanoi, even Cape Town, known for its high crime ended up with a score better than Tel Aviv.

So what gives value to this report? This is not the setting of my view, it is a question. The question exists in my mind because if we give reputation and value to a place we must know and agree to the standards given here. That is the question that should be on your mind too. Now, you might not care about Tel Aviv for many reasons. The bulk of us will never visit the city, visit the country or end up anywhere near it. So how do we give value to a place, even when we are somewhat familiar? Yet there is more than just the result as given in the Times of Israel. Slide 22 when you get the 2015 reputation report (at http://www.reputationinstitute.com/), shows a very interesting part. Familiarity versus Reputation. So how about the places with low familiarity? How come their reputation is so high? Is it the media, because there again we see that Tel Aviv gets in the news when there are rocket attacks and terrorist issues towards Israel, so how can we consider reliability in this report? Beware my words, I am not stating that the methodology is in question, I am wondering how the validity of vision from the interviewee is correct. In a similar way, we can understand that Baghdad is graded poorly, but why is Tehran graded so bad, it is because of our impression of Iran? In that same context we might understand why Sydney, Stockholm and Melbourne are graded so high, yet in all this, what makes Zurich more reputable than Amsterdam or Oslo, perhaps because FIFA is placed there? With the FIFA news Zurich got a lot of visibility, but is that visibility correctly graded in the mind of the beholder? The issue here is the colouring by the media, that influence cannot be countered, which is why I think that Tel Aviv got placed so badly (in this 101 list). Behind all this is a bigger issue. It is the one reason why I object to some of these studies.

In my personal view this list caters to presentations and to some who need to see a national interest, it also places my own view in debate (as it should), not because my view is too shallow, but as we go through the iterations of reasoning behind this as we see in slide 24. The Advanced Economy gives view to the question ‘why is an advanced economy part of reputation or familiarity?‘ This connect on more than one level, which got me to ‘The Economics of Developing Countries‘, what makes for an Advanced Economy? In that view Peru, Chile and Uruguay are not amongst them, so with close to 1/3 of the measurement absent, in that case, how come Montevideo scored so high in that list? If it is the state of peace, we see something a lot more linking, Tel Aviv, Karachi and Abu Dhabi together, a pattern seems to emerge. In that view we must wonder as Tel Aviv is not in war, but under near constant attack. Now when we add Rio to all this, we see another pattern emerge, those not relying on ‘stability of peace’ we see the need for positive reinforced publications, Rio is certainly getting that. In all this we do not question the reputation institute or their methodology, it is all about the people giving their vote. It is that view which gives voice to my worry. Slide 24 is descriptive in all this. ‘Appealing environment’ is one, which give the view to ‘non war torn places’, Effective government is the second one. Yet, why is ‘effective’ government part of all this? You see, in my view, the most effective government is a corrupt one, a humane based government (like Norway and Sweden) tends to be expensive and not that effective. Perhaps effective government and humane government are terms that are interchangeable? I am just asking. In all this we see the four earlier words at the core of this. ‘Trust’, ‘Admire’, ‘Esteem’ and ‘Feeling’, so how does this all link?

Slide 25 gives us ‘Social, Economic & Environmental Policies’ in regard to ‘Effective Government’, are they for real? Environmental policies can be made more effective, but they do not, I say again absolutely not make for an effective government. In addition when an Advanced Economy relies on ‘Financially Stable & Future Growth’ we can state that Wall Street took care of that not happening in the last decade and in addition not for many more years to come, so when we acknowledge that the elements of attributes are an issue, does that not add question marks to the stated foundation of this report? In all this the summary from page 28 onwards makes sense. I do not disagree, I do not oppose it, but in all this, it is a view brought to us on the premise of a flawed view, the influenced view of the interviewee, that part is missing, which gives the question mark within me. This gets me to slide 34, a good reputation might influx tourism, yet in all this, the tainting influence of media becomes a colouring issue, discriminatory and revoking as we ignore or forget that perception is tainting and the press factor seems to be uncorrected for. So how is that not an issue in all this, or at least a non-correcting influence? This all gets me to the final part “living or working in the city, or deciding to invest in the city” might be deciding factors for anyone when the reputation is an issue, but on what foundation? Still overall the report remains an interesting piece of work, the supportive behaviour slide gives fuel to that.

My views do come to fruition in slide 40 where we see the two quotes “Communication is required to capitalize on good reality and overcome poor perceptions” and “Change is required to alter ‘reality’ and minimize reputational risk“. In my mind, this states that opportunity and risk are influential factors that can be pressed on by the media, the media sets perception and alters reality in a hundred ways, so does this paper show true reputation, or does this show how the media is too large a factor to ignore and in all this a place like Tel Aviv got introduced to the less reputable score than they should have gotten? The question is how we see a true score on reputation and perhaps that list is not completely incorrect, but in my personal view, the idea that Bangkok is more reputable than Tel Aviv remains an issue, one of perception and I have actually been to both places.

 

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Let’s dance (part 2)

I promised to get back to the game of Finance, to some it is called 50 shades of Greece, to some it is called the work of Atë, yet I see it as the result of a cloud of Stupidity, Inactions and Desolation. Without massive changes Greece will end up without any future left.

This is not some prediction, because the nation is bankrupt, or in default or even in a bad place. You see, whatever ‘promise’ that comes from any of the banks, power players or politicians, throwing money at something that is inert and unproductive is just waisted money. The Juncker speech of three days ago (at http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_SPEECH-15-5274_en.htm), gives us all those politically correct words, with the quote “And a deal could also have ensured that we, the Commission, could go ahead with a package for a ‘new start for jobs and growth’ package of 35 billion euro to help the Greek economy get back on track“, so that sounds nice, but that is not even close to the factual issue as I see it. If we include the overdue payments (yes, plural), we see that before the end of the year, Greece faces 2 payments of the ECB at 6.7 billion Euro. The IMF has coming 4 times 300 million Euro, plus 2 sets of 600 million Euro and 2 sets of 500 million Euro, in addition, there is the 1.5 billion Euro overdue and the 750 million Euro shifted payment, which Greece paid for using the IMF emergency funds. You all forgot about that last one did you not? Which makes for 5.65 billion, so these two players are due 12.35 billion Euro before the end of the year alone. In addition there are 10 treasury bills maturing with a total of 15.1 billion, the last one is an issue, you see if Greece is very very very lucky, those owners would be ‘willing’ to roll them over, if not, the max damage will be 27.5 billion in before the end of 2015. That is just expenses with NOTHING paid for and the interest due on the loans has not been taken into account either. The important part is, is the fact that over 50% of that debt is an unknown, because who exactly owns these Greek bonds? To whom is payment due? These are the events that Greece already has and I have mentioned them before, so why mention them again. Well, these facts are important to consider, because what Juncker calls ‘new start for jobs and growth’ is nice, but what will the politicians use is for? This fund covers 80% of the outstanding payments and ZERO towards reducing debt.

So how will the Greek economy get back on track? That is the killer question, because there is no given path. Greece has very little to export, it has relied on services for too long and there is no real resolution there. I personally will not trust rock star Varoufakis (a valid feeling as he has not propelled Greece forward in 6 months). A man of all smiles and no substance. His blog (at http://yanisvaroufakis.eu/2015/07/01/why-we-recommend-a-no-in-the-referendum-in-6-short-bullet-points/) gives us 6 short bullet points, yet as a professor of economy from the University of Athens, he gives us plenty of disturbing afterthoughts.

1a. refused to reduce our un-payable public debt
1b. insisted that it should be repaid ‘parametrically’ by the weakest members of our society, their children and their grandchildren.

My view?

1a. Why? Even though previous elected officials spend it, you still get to pay for it. You accepted the responsibility of office, which include a maximised credit card.
1b. Nope! It just needed to be paid in some way, again, as a result from previous elected officials.

So point one, being 2 points can be seen as a failure because Syriza did not do the following:

  1. Immediately start the investigation on prosecution of previous officials (which might be a farce trial, but it would have given the proper presentation that Greece is truly making a change, his smiley smiley rock star presentation missed the mark by a lot, with the added danger that Jean-Claude Juncker might not have any sense of rhythm or blues, making the act a double miss.
  2. Instigate a serious overhaul of the Greek tax system, mainly taxability and tax collection. Even if it was still underway today, if started in February it would have given a clear signal to those holding onto 7 billion plus, that this elected Greek government was a Greek government that wanted to create a true future for the Greek people. The stress of the last week would never have happened.
  3. Instigate prosecution of tax evaders, not just a sham trial of a man named Leonidas Bobolas (which is actually a cool name to have), that 1.9 million euro bill did not last long did it? How about placing Kostas Vaxevanis in the limelight and giving the clear message that tax evasion is now a thing of the past. Greece could have started to annex these back taxes, many nations would be on the side of Greece here (France and Italy most enthusiastically), in addition, giving the tax evaders an option to pay back tax +20% within a week, or back tax +150% when accounts needed to get frozen, misreporting would come at an additional 200% of misreported outstanding taxation. At this point Syriza would become the most popular band ever. In a group of 11 million, these 2045 people do not add statistically to number of Greeks and after the culling of outstanding taxation the debt might be a smidge lower, showing again that Syriza wanted a better Greece.

NONE of these actions had been taken by Greece in any visible way. So, Ο καθηγητής Βαρουφάκης missed the boat in point one already.

I am skipping point two!

  1. The Euro group had previously (November 2012) conceded that the debt ought to be restructured but is refusing to commit to a debt restructure.

My view? It could have been a fair point if Greece would have shown any economic evolution as mentioned in the three points (by me earlier), restructuring is pointless if the machine is not getting the overhaul it requires. I have stated before and now that in all this previous administrations have been key in the failure of the Greek economy. Not just because the Greek economy collapsed, but what was done to repair it all? What concrete actions were made between 2010 and 2015 to restart the economy? This is a much harder question to pose, because it intersects on what could have done and what should have done. Which is directly coupled to Junckers 35 billion Euro carrot, you see, dumping money somewhere, but how and where will the economy be revived? You see, no money and no plan is destitution, a plan and no money is a future, money without a plan is a spending spree and a plan with money is a solution. It is actually THAT simple. Greece has had enough spending sprees, it is in a state of destitution, so it needs to get a future and move towards a solution. This is a simple path, but 3 Greek administrations have not pulled that one off, so they are in the state they are in.

I am not proclaiming to have the solution, yet no one else have any either. With the Greying European community retirement villages are an option. How many does Greece have? Consider that the nations with a retired population over 16% is Sweden, Denmark, Germany and Austria. All nations where the life style has been good. Now add to this the people who will start their retirement in the next 5 years. Thousands of people in relatively expensive cold places, they can in some cases sub-rent their property and retire in warm, sunny Greece. The food is good, the people nice and they move from a life with 4 months of summer to a life of 7 months of summer and the removal of cold winters (compared to their home turf that is). It is not a solution, but it is a start. Greece needs to become innovative and change the game all together. It is extremely likely that these solutions have been looked at, yet, how deep. Too many people look at solutions to fill their pockets, how many looked at it with the intent to fill the treasury coffers? Greece has a second option, is to use the church. Instead of making a short sale of places that came for sale, how about ‘nationalising’ them as tourist accommodation, managed through the church? Move hotels from foreign investors to local hands! Just an idea to start growing the foundation of taxable income.

In all this, the ideas by me should be regarded as laughable. Yet, how many options have been inspected? You see the problem does not go away by throwing a few billion at it, buying all the fish leaves you with a double debt, learning how to fish and get the pond to yourself will leave you with a future. Greece has limited products to work with, so it either adds products or it adds services, services is a first, products is often longer term, unless it is the service that becomes the product.

In all this I still have to address one part I talked about earlier. I stated “they have left, what should be regarded as criminal activities open to reactivation“, there is some of it (at http://www.globalresearch.ca/goldman-sachs-doesnt-have-clean-hands-in-greece-crisis/5459498), more in the annals of history. the article gives us: “According to investigative reports that appeared in Der Spiegel, the New York Times, BBC, and Bloomberg News from 2010 through 2012, Blankfein, now Goldman Sachs CEO, Cohn, now President and COO, and Loudiadis, a Managing Director, all played a role in structuring complex derivative deals with Greece which accomplished two things: they allowed Greece to hide the true extent of its debt and they ended up almost doubling the amount of debt Greece owed under the dubious derivative deals“, no matter where all this is going, consider the Greek bonds. I massively objected in the past against Greece being allowed anywhere near the bond market in April 2014. Consider the total value of Greek bonds out there, are they covered? Consider that Greece is completely bust, the fact that from multiple sources that Greek cannot repay its debt (amongst them the Finance Minister of Greece). Consider that Yanis Varoufakis stated on March 10th 2015 “Varoufakis Says Greece Was Never Going To Repay Its Debts” (source Forbes). So how come that at THAT point certain steps were not made to use the reserve funds Greece had at that time to settle the bonds. When you consider my opposition to bonds in April 2014 comes into view with the consideration ‘The terms on which a government can sell bonds depend on how creditworthy the market considers it to be‘, so as some power players had (as I see it) inflated the Greek credit rating, the question becomes, is the Greek bond market a continuation of the ‘Greekman Sachs’ protocols as played to hide debt, as such, should there be a more serious level of criminal investigation? Moreover, who are the involved parties and why are other parties not truly digging here?

In the end, let’s be clear, there is absolutely no indication that any laws have been broken regarding the bonds, is that not the interesting part? The one part that could have limited the issues now playing (like adjusting laws) is the one action 10 years of government had not adjusted. That seems to have worked out very well for Addy Loudiadis, Chief Executive and Director, Rothesay Life Limited and Managing Director of Goldman Sachs and a few others (Addy was just the most visible one), in all this we see that Greece needs changes, the law most likely first.

So can the Greeks dance? Unless their parliament wakes up, it is only one of many skills a Greek will need to add to his/her skill set to get by after the ATM’s stop working.

 

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And the time is?

They say timing is everything, ‘EU ministers refuse bailout extension for Greece as referendum looms’, gives a clear indication that Greece overextended the timeline they thought they had. The makers of Arkham Knight are realising that they needed a little more time then they gave themselves, and all over Europe people realise that they seem to be running out of time. And as timing goes, the pressure from Greece gave David Cameron the additional time he needed. We now get the quote “David Cameron says he is delighted the process of ‘reform and renegotiation’ of the UK’s membership of the EU is ‘properly under way’” (at http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-33281019), no matter how this bullet is pushed, the Eurozone will massively change over the next 18 months. With Greece pushing Italy and France over the edge, the UK is considering the safety of pulling out. In the meantime, the UK, to change this options, needs to change several parts of EU laws, so that there is no influence on British common law, if that is achieved, the UK could diminish the negative sides of the EU connection, whilst the pro-EU parts gain strength. This is one option and it is a good strategy, but in all this, Greece remains an issue. If Greece is given too much leeway, the system collapses, which leaves the UK the only option and that is to pull out, damage or no. This will also fuels France’s need to departure, which opposes President Hollande and gives massive visibility to Marine Le Pen, stating ‘we told you so!’ Now the Euro has no options left, whatever diminishing noise you hear, like the noise stated for many weeks, they will all suddenly inflate into stories on ‘how disastrous it all became’, ‘became’ is the operative word, which should be ‘was all along’. Even without Greece, the Euro had been set to become the maximum exploited currency around, which is less of a positive thing, when all over Europe its leaders are increasingly unable to keep a budget, the close to half a trillion that Greece could end up bestowing on them can be missed like a hole in the head.

The EU leaders have decided (as I see it) that there is no more time, no more extensions, either make the call or Greece enters the realm of defaulted nations. The next wave will be about another matter, you see, when Greece defaults, what happens to the outstanding debts? More important, what happens to the Greeks in general? The Greek people will get hurt in all this. Even though I am all about accountability, the Greek people, especially the retirees will get a massive hit in all this, whilst the politicians of previous administrations will have their long term golden years nice and comfy.

But we need to get back to the issue, you see, someone ends up with this bill and even though it might be ‘contained’ for now, the Greeks have squeeze every inch out of the debt they could and with payments due all over the field, this situation moved from worrying to hairy for the Greeks and is now a worrying state for any nation holding on to those debts, not to mention the 80 billion in liquidity overdraft.

So where are we all? What is the time?

The time is getting closer to midnight, as we see two escalations, the first one makes some sense. “The failure of the Greek government to reach agreement with the rest of the Eurozone’s finance ministers has raised fears of the European Central Bank (ECB) rejecting Greece’s request for continued emergency lending to keep its banks afloat“, in addition there is “bailout programme for Greece expires on Tuesday and the referendum has been called for Sunday 5 July“, these are the steps that follow, it does not sound worse than it is, but it really is a little worse than some people think. Even though there is clear frustration in the joke Alexis Tsipras has become, especially when we consider “The calling of a referendum will prolong the political uncertainty that a senior company executive said was “driving us nuts”“, this play was always on the Syriza agenda, but now, as there are no options left, the Greek people got run for 6 months by a rock star and a paper tiger, in the end, they chose poorly. The question becomes: how can this situation move forward? Which is also debate of the next part. This updated quote comes from Austria’s finance minister, Hans Jörg Schelling ““Greece would have to file a request to do so. The other EU countries would have to approve the request. Only then could Greece leave the Eurozone”“, this is regarding leaving the EEC. The question is, why Greece would want to leave the EEC. You see, out of the Euro is one thing, the UK, Sweden and Denmark are not in the Euro either. So Greece will have 3 impossible generations as Greece will try to re-float their way of life, yet those options might deteriorate into 5 or even 6 generations when they leave the EEC. Whatever that choice might be, it will be up to Greece to decide.

Back in the UK, part of the issues that play are:

‘Curb EU immigration by cutting benefits’ and ‘Make the EU more streamlined and competitive’, and to get what it wants the UK believes it will need to rewrite treaties agreed by all 28 EU members. This is part of the joy and the worry.

Consider that the EU setting was never set to be streamlined and competitive enough, why not? What was it about? Social refurbishment, or allowing financial structures and big corporations to get the best solution for THEM? That is a question, not an accusation!

Let’s face it, the UK needs to curb immigration (even though I am trying to get my ancestry visa) and for the most, the UK would not have an issue if these people are all contributing members, but that is part of the issue the UK has as everyone tries to make a new future in London, in its current congested way, London cannot continue. It needs changes, the EEC charter did not allow for that at present. Greece opened that door and it is about to change more. Both France and Germany need to think of both France and Germany and they too need changes, the situation called Greece made sure of that too.

Now we get to the last part in that article: “Downing Street has said the prime minister remains committed to ‘proper, full-on treaty change’ but it has acknowledged this is unlikely by the end of 2017 since it would trigger referendums in other EU countries as well“, this is the move the UK makes, which is a good move, it is fair and it is the proper approach. But that approach now hits another snag, which also has an impact on Greece. You see, both UKIP and National Front are all about nationalism and breaking away from the EEC. I am not condemning or condoning. I always believed that it is the rights of any sovereign nation to choose its path and its future. Greece choose poorly, will France and the UK choose better? I certainly hope so. Yet, this path, now gives UKIP the option to bring messages of ‘delay’ and ‘exploitation of Britain’. That is how Nigel Farage is likely to bring it, because that is how he sees it and that is how his constituents are voiced to see it. That wave is growing, many from the Conservative, some Liberal Democrats and a sizeable chunk of the UK Labour constituents feel more that way every day forward, which is the push UKIP hoped for earlier and it could start to happen over the next 3 months, it all depends on how the financial waves of Greece continue over the next 3 months, that is the impact the people are looking at. It goes beyond the UK, as stated, National Front is on that same ferry route. The push here is that because France is in a much worse state than the UK, the push away is also a lot stronger, depending on how the Greek situation escalates to Grexit and beyond. With France having a lot more on the line, we will see a stronger ‘appreciation’ for National Front and Marine Le Pen. Yet, how the escalation grows cannot yet be predicted, even though the growth of National Front has been stronger and their influence at present in France is a lot stronger than the UKIP has in the UK, so that fact must not be ignored. France add 11 National Front mayors to their nation, that part is influence, strong influence. So as they grow constituents stronger than UKIP can at present, with their presidential campaign happening in April 2017, the UK needs to make a change, because if France pulls out, and the UK is still in the mix, the game changes truly fast. So far, I remain in the view that David Cameron is making the right play for the UK, yet France could change the deadline for the UK. The imperative word is ‘could’, there are several variables in all this and the real game has not started yet, the pawns are placed on the board for the UK and France, the game is about to end for Greece, I hope the Greek people end up in a decent position, which is at present not a given. That part is also essential, the EEC better take a long hard look at that, because with every news of starving retirees as Greek retirement funds loses the value due to Greek bonds, will have a massive impact in driving the local population to their ‘saviour’, whether it is UKIP or National Front will not matter to the player.

We are about to enter a media war unlike any we have seen, because when the news comes of degraded pensions in a greying society, panic will come to the people. At present I have no clear solution, I cannot tell what would be the best way to go; how to go into that direction; too many unknowns at present. I always believe that united is stronger, Greece made me doubt that, because the power players were all about status quo. Now consider the fact that Greece was only 2% of it all, France and the UK are a massive part of the EEC economy, which means we will get carefully phrased words of misinformation soon enough, the question then is from whom and in what direction are they pushing the voters?

So what time is it and when midnight strikes, where will the pieces on the board be and which chess piece is which player, because that dynamic is not a given, not for many months to come.

 

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