Tag Archives: Swiss

Hold back the anger

We all have the urge to be really really angry, especially when people are as stupid as they are, and then in a herd mentality of the ‘I merely follow the other idiot’, and as such they claim not to be accountable. I am one, who states that just like the Nuremberg trial, we hang those separate and clearly identifiable. In this, when we see ‘Coronavirus: Hundreds of British skiers flee Swiss Verbier quarantine’, how can we not be massively enraged? As such, it is my call (well, in reality it is not) to convict these people in absentia for reckless endangerment and if any people link to their cluster die we will ALL convict them in absentia for involuntary manslaughter. Which means that if they EVER leave the UK, they will be arrested and imprisoned for 10-15 years. No parole, no options and no relief. When you are so fucking stupid to go on winter-sport in Switzerland in the middle of a bloody viral quarantine. You are not allowed excuses or other options, so when I see “A spokesman in Valais canton said 420 British guests had booked into Verbier accommodation before Christmas and now only about a dozen were left. Switzerland imposed a 10-day quarantine backdated to 14 December because of the new virus strain spreading in the UK”, we basically see the setting of 400 murderers who are optionally only found guilty of manslaughter, so we can keep them separately imprisoned, in solitary confinement for the better part of a decade. So when I see “Others were called by British tourists demanding their money back once they had safely crossed into France, the BBC’s Imogen Foulkes reports from Geneva”, I merely see the urge to say “Go fuck yourself you fucking murderers to be”. In this, when I see “Others are angry, as for decades the British have been enthusiastic winter visitors to Switzerland, but now feel the tourists have abused the hospitality offered to them”, I basically am with the angry people. And in all this, we see a massive absence of politicians, especially British MP’s giving their voice to this. So whilst some are ‘for the Brits’, the setting of ““We understand their anger,” Jean-Marc Sandoz told the SonntagsZeitung. “Suddenly families with small children were locked into 20 sq m (215 sq ft), and that’s intolerable.””, well that is one way to look at it, but we could also see the stage of these people giving their winter-sport a miss for one year in light of all the corona-viral issues that has hit almost 82 million people and has killed almost 2 million, at that point, do you think going to another country for your vacation is a sound idea, you stupid fuck?

Yes, perhaps I am a tad angry and so far we see a large contingency of idiots ignoring quarantine settings and the inactions of governments is nothing less than an absolute bloody joke. Just like the unreported findings from academics that the quick tests were giving false negatives in 40% of the cases, it seems that governments are allowing for stupidity to continue, I wonder why? Even as I (based on NOS news) reported on the setting of one yesterday in ‘The lull of writing’ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2020/12/28/the-lull-of-writing/), we now see a larger setting of stupidity, I would call it criminal stupidity and the allowance for it is just another level of stupidity. In a stage where people are trying to get by, some are allowed, what I would see as criminal acts of stupidity and in this time and place a level of stupidity that should not now, not ever be allowed.

And as everyone is hoping that enough bad news is coming through so that they can remain silent on this part, we need to wonder how much more stupidity we can take before someone states that enough is enough?

 This is a stage that needs addressing and it needs addressing now, all before a million more die and all the stupid people hide behind ‘I never realised’ or ‘I could not have been me, I was careful’, we will hang them separately, just like the Germans in Nuremberg hiding behind ‘Befehl ist befehl’, it only seems fair.

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Exit stage right

Yup, I am back. In the first there is the Swiss issue I discussed earlier today, as set the free movement ending is not reached, 68% rejected that part. So in this the larger stage were (as I personally saw it) the fear mongering side, but that is merely my view on one part. The election was on a few items and the Swiss have spoken, they rejected the ending free movement part and I am fine with it, yet I do feel that the term of all those benefits, I wonder if we ever get to see a list on that. But no matter what it was up to the Swiss and they rejected the notion.

Then there is the corona issue (not the beer), as per now we have 33 million infected and one million are dead. I believe that this number is actually higher, but I cannot prove it, the top three are USA, India and Brazil. In this I partially reject it because I believe that Indian infected is most likely a lot higher and those who died are cremated rather fast, so even as the numbers are too low, I cannot say that there is intent here, consider that in India the alleged personal need for ignorance is high, a nation where the Mumbai region alone has 55 million people, so 6 million over all India and only 95,000 deaths does not add up. When we apply the global mortality rate, the death count in India is close to 50% too low, a nation where population pressure is through the roof. I get it, not every person gets tested, there are not enough test packages to get even close to the testings required, there is no blame, no one is at fault, but we need to realise the setting and in a lot more places than India, the setting does not add up. 

And in the third setting, we see that there is every indication that President Trump will be exiting the stage on the right side. There is an overwhelming amount of push on places like Twitter where we see the Rock, George Takei, Billy Baldwin, David Cross and numerous others are giving their voice to Joe Biden, there is even a growing amount of Republicans on that list (including me) and the stage that President Trump has set is for the bulk of all the people no longer acceptable. I reckon that if the voting amount is raised from 55% to 65% it will be over for President Trump. As far as I can tell, at no time in history have Americans united against an elected president ever before. These events are making the anti Vietnam and anti Lyndon B. Johnson events fade. Even as Joe Biden has presently a 10% lead, it is a dangerous setting. Some people will fall asleep and will not bother voting, but the is the danger that got President Trump into the Oval Office in the first place. I would hazard a guess that if only 65% votes, one could argue that the USA does not deserve saving, not t this stage. The active people seem to realise that and their voice is simple “please vote”, they do not say who to vote for, they seem to think that this will be enough to get them to vote and hopefully not for President Trump. People like Dwayne Johnson are more eloquent in this, they name the people they endorse and give additional information. Still, I am to some extent in awe, I have never seen such a level of unison coming from America since WW2 (the Hitler is bad group) and perhaps it is important to pause at this notion. Yes, I remember my last piece, yet that was not about being pro-Trump. That was about the law and the constitution, little pesky things all kind of people want to avoid, I do not. 

What else is on the table? 

Well, games would be my guess and even as we are all still reeling from the Bethesda, now Microsoft decision, PC Gamer gives us a past overview (at https://www.pcgamer.com/au/what-happened-to-12-of-gamings-biggest-studios-after-they-were-sold/). I understand what they bring and I do not oppose it, but what stands out is that Bethesda is bought for more than the amount spend on 12 other acquisitions (not all Microsoft), there we see the the purchase of Mojang by Microsoft implies that all is not lost for Sony, yet this close to release of a new console makes it a question mark at best. In this there is also the thought that EA has options for Mass Effect and even the original trilogy, yet that is for another time. For the most the countdown clocks are running for Cyberpunk 2077 and the PS5/Xbox series X. November 19th 2020 for Cyberpunk and the consoles will come at November 12th (PS5) and November 10th (Xbox). The mayhem starts in 43 days 6 hours and 34.2 minutes.

 

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The pope’s mobile is on the clock

 

Hickory Dickory dock, the pope ran up the clock,

The clock struck one, and hit his bum, Hickory Dickory dock.

An old rhyme slightly adjusted and gives light to a joke that mattered, it is old and it goes like:

Q: Why does the pope kiss the ground when he arrives?
A: You’ve never flown with Alitalia have you?

That is where we are, the clock is counting down; Alitalia is on its last legs and merely has two weeks left. As sources report that EasyJet pulled out of the race and even as Delta is still on board, someone needs to be found for the remaining 40% and that is the hard ball, consider on how much of an issue Alitalia is when people like Warren Buffett and Bill Gates will not take a shine to it, it might be too harsh to call Alitalia a money pit, but that is what is amounts too. The flight market is close to saturated, even as we all needed to fly (quite literally) 20 years ago, the companies started to figure out not to give their profits to the airlines. On a global scale close to 9750 planes were in the air last year at any given time, transporting up to 1.3 million people. The operative part is ‘at any given time‘, so how much travel is required nowadays? In 1998 I was flying close to 21 weeks that year, giving trainings and doing consultancy round the clock, at times living from a suitcase with added support from my laptop giving IT trainings and software training. I circled the planet twice that year, from Amsterdam, New York, Atlanta, Sydney, Singapore, Istanbul, via Munich and back to Amsterdam. I thought it was great and as long as the profits were outshining the costs, my bosses kept on sending me to more locations, it was all fine by me. These days are over, even as we see more and more airports expanding to ‘facilitate’ for more passengers, we see a dangerous curve, Stockholm Arlanda is expanding to facilitate for 40 million visitors a year. The numbers give us that the top 25 carriers facilitated for 13,718,655 passengers and if they are all tourists, that would be fine, yet the business side is not adding up. You see 15 out of the 25 had a decrease the went up to 27.3%, the lowest 10 were below 4.5%, still they were all still decreases and the largest increase came from Riga, Latvia.

Now consider that on the other side, on the airline side, apart from the element where we see that Alitalia had no operating profit between 2009 and 2015 with added low points of well over minus a quarter of a billion, the setup of airlines seems to be too odd.

I do get it, a nations having a national airline is a matter of pride, we get it, but at what cost? The airline has about 100 planes as part of the mainline fleet and the cost of doing business is just too high, there is no decent chance that whomever owns the airline might do so, so that they can say that they own an airline, it seems the weirdest of reasons, but from the financial view that is as much as we are going to get and the bad news is not done at this point.

You see, the work I used to do can be done remotely more and more, when 5G is totally here, we can see the shift where the classes can be given remotely with a phantom screen and with the presentations running in the background, the speed will enable us to give individual service to all the participants in up to three locations at the same time, almost like remotely run classroom software with camera’s in all locations. At that point we will see even less traffic required implying that the business classes on these flights will be close to a thing of the past.

The more immediate and difficult part is that none of this is the fault of Alitalia. Yes, we can look at the scandals and the past sting operations, yet the foundation is not that, it is the need of people to travel. In that light the traveller will be the one using their local airline (like many would), some will select airlines for their service and there we see groups of people seeking flights by Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific Airways and Emirates. So these airlines are also poaching local travellers as they have shown and proven themselves to be a cut above the others. When it comes to business and tourist Italy, we see decline of both and falling harder, yet Italy is still the destination to several countries, namely Germany, France, UK and US as the largest four. These four add up to 23%; the rest is from all over. So, what makes me the specialist? I am not; I am merely using common sense. 100 planes, in an age where their power is tourism and we are going into the summer season, but that setting is a stage that represents merely 18 weeks out of 52, the numbers and the economy do not support the fleet, or so it seems.

when we consider that Rome Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino supported 42,995,119 passengers last year, there is a decent case that I am seeing it wrong, but that is from all airlines, beside Alitalia, we see Air India, Emirates, Turkish Airlines, United, Etihad Airways, Thai Airways, Asiana Airlines, Qatar Airways, Cathay Pacific, Air China, Lufthansa, Ethiopian Airlines, Finnair, British Airways, SWISS, EL AL Israel Airlines, Air France, Saudia, Ukraine International, Jet Airways, Air Canada, Egypt Air, KLM, Kuwait Airways, Brussels Airlines, Aeroflot, Korean Air, China Airlines, Singapore Airlines, China Southern, Iran Air, all flying to Rome, now we see a different picture, even as the airport needs the space and growth, we see no decent numbers on how the Alitalia flights are doing, some sources were giving me ‘No Data‘ and that is fair enough, but it makes a much stronger case that unless there is someone with deep pockets that Alitalia is on its last legs and in its final stage of a mere two week notice until it shuts down. Planes would be auctioned off and the lot to be repackaged for other management styles. And I do believe that the end is not in sight, Alitalia is not the only one in such a sordid state of affairs. I believe that the business case of airlines should have changed a long time ago, and it will get worse soon enough, as the oil price goes up, so do the prices of flights. You see the one element we seem to ignore is not the drop in non-tourist passengers. It is the fact that one barrel of crude oil only facilitates for up to 4 gallons of jet fuel, the turnaround is that high, 42 gallons can only make 4 gallons of jet fuel, after that it boils down to gasoline, diesel and other items, so when the barrel goes up in price, the impact is seen quite fast. Consider that a flight from Rome to New York takes 9 hours and 40 minutes (or 2,088,000 seconds), now consider that a 747 needs 1 gallon a second, so if the oil goes up by $1, the maximum cost of a flight would go up by 2 million times the price increase and we can only get 4 gallons bet crude oil barrel making it an optional increase of $500K per flight (which is not completely true as diesel and gasoline would need to bear part of those costs too, but with only 4 gallons to the barrel, jet fuel would take the hardest hit).

That part counts too and as such tourist numbers would go down to some degree, especially from America. These are all still mere elements in the hardship calculations, but the elements are starting to add up, more optional other choices, more localised incentives and less options for Alitalia, that is the sad reality for Alitalia. As far as I was able to see, the press (the non-Italian press) did not take a look at these elements. Even as the BBC did look at one element “At the time the Irish airline was struggling to contain the fallout from a pilot shortage, which led to the cancellation of flights for about 700,000 passengers“, the abundance of competition, as well as the dangers of fuel changes were not looked at. Yet there are other sources, Bloomberg (at https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-03-18/easyjet-drops-from-alitalia-bidding-in-setback-to-government) gave us a month ago that Delta is “exploring ways to work with Ferrovie dello Stato and maintain our partnership with Alitalia in the future“, yet I am not convince that they are in it with their heart and soul. Merely a stage where their accountants can optionally see plans for the Alitalia infrastructure and options to give Delta a streamline boost and let Delta grow in other ways accepting Alitalia to some degree for some time, yet how that ‘for some time‘ develops will remain an unknown. Part of it is seen with “Delta would take a 10 percent stake, which would double within four years if certain business goals are met“, yet these business goals are not really heralded by any party. In that regard Lufthansa was open and clear by stating that Alitalia needs to shed 40% of the workforce and that is where the cost of the Delta business goals are likely to be seen as well and that 40% will remain part of the problem. The Italian government would had to euthanise 40% of the workforce in a time when it could not afford to do so and that is the issue to the larger extent. If that knife is thrust hard and deep Alitalia might be around on April 30th, yet at present that is not a given, the pressured parties are not willing to get to that point until the 11th hour and at that point it might just be too late, because in the end the airline is not the only player, the airports will try to make sure that their part of the equation remains safe and there are plenty of airlines offering to ferry people to these locations making the equation unbalanced and unrealistic for the bookkeepers of Alitalia, a sad story for an airline that only recently made it to its 10th year.

 

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The danger topic

That is at the centre for me today. I have had a little dry spell, for some reason; I could not get the words coming from my fingers in a balanced way. Not sure if it was the news, or if it was the lack of news. Even as we are slowly strolling to new escalations when Israel was going after Hezbollah and got a free upgrade to a dead Iranian General. Just as I am still not convinced it was North Korea to begin with (that Sony event). We see additional escalations, escalations that are moving the prying eyes away from many small fields that are now on the verge of making rather large changes to all of us.

First there is Greece, we see an escalation of more and more ‘giving in’, all these professors, all about forgiving debt. Yet, when will we see the Greek officials in prison? When will we see ACTUAL prosecution of corruption? It is like a group of people, who keep on feeding the junk money for the train home, knowing it is spend on drugs, booze and perhaps a few hookers (I mean ladies with flexible morals). When we consider the Guardian (at http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/jan/21/eurozone-exit-greek-grexit-germany-france), it seems to me that some statements like “Today a Grexit would weaken German and French banks, and cost the German government up to €77bn and the International Monetary Fund a slug of its loans, but would be unlikely to frighten global markets or undermine the 14-year-old currency bloc“, as well as “The Bruegal Institute in Brussels is not the only think-tank to believe the estimated €250bn cost of a Grexit, while covered by the bailout funds, would cripple the Eurozone and delay recovery for a decade“, give the taste that people need to avoid the Greek exit, but is that not at the foundation of the junk needing a fix? Those in power desperately want to stay in power. I am not talking about Greek politics, they want to skate on emotion and fairness, whilst not prosecuting, or holding to account those who were responsible for the current situation and it is about to get decently worse. You see, as America is close to hitting another debt ceiling, we will either see the raising of debt, or a reshuffle of numbers so that the debt will ‘conveniently’ seem like less. It is not just America, even though 18 trillion takes the cake and the icing. We need to look with the harsh light at the decisions the Europeans (through Italy) are now showing a new race. At The Bruegal Institute in Brussels is not the only think-tank to believe the estimated €250bn cost of a Grexit, while covered by the bailout funds, would cripple the Eurozone and delay recovery for a decade we now see that the ECB is about to spend 1.1 trillion for bonds. When we see “The Frankfurt-based bank will use electronically created money to buy the bonds of Eurozone governments – quantitative easing – to try to boost confidence, push up inflation and drive down the value of the single currency, helping to increase exports and kick-start growth“, can we agree that when an economy needs a trillion dollar kick-start, that the patient is not sick, it died and it is not going to live long, no matter how much money you pump into its cadaver shaped foundation. You see, we all need a little boost every now and then, but 1 trillion is not a little boost, it is the setting of a massive debt, whilst getting the continued revenue for those who are already well beyond rich. The last is not entirely fair or correct, but consider these statements we see all over the place that the richest 1% will own well over 50% of the planet by 2016. Yet we need to pump more virtual cash on the population? This is not just the continuation of a bad idea, it seems that the bulk of the governments are not holding themselves or others to account. So as we see “Today the ECB has finally arrived as a truly ‘European’ Central Bank. It has acted against political opposition to deliver what is by most measures an ambitious programme of quantitative easing,” he said. “The ECB has finally, if belatedly, done its part. Now it’s time for the Eurozone to relax the fiscal constraint“, we also see the dangers that the debt will change the curve of debt release for a lot longer, whilst the taxpayer deals with the debt of ‘spending’ now, the people will not see true new jobs,  or longer term employment. So how is this ‘easing’ a good thing for anything else than the non-accountability of the governments connected? This gets me to the second part, some state that it is fiscal constraint, can in equal measure not be stated that this is for temporary fictive fiscal restraint? It is just a point of view. If we see Fiscal constraint as: ‘a reasonable comparison of planned expenditures to expected revenues‘ and Fiscal restraint as ‘Fiscal restraint is used to reduce inflationary pressures. The strategy is to shift the aggregate demand curve to the left with budget cuts or tax hikes‘. So as we see the mention “push up inflation and drive down the value of the single currency“, why was the mention Fiscal constraint and not ‘fiscal restraint’? Perhaps it is as easy as two sides of the same coin, but the guardian does not elaborate on both sides at all. This might have a valid reason, but should the audience not get a ‘better’ picture, especially as an additional trillion in fictive currency gets added to the market. This all calls into additional account the Swiss actions of last week, perhaps they saw what was likely to happen and they are very concerned for the consequences of these implementations. In addition, the acts of the usually ‘extremus sobrium’ Swiss should pause us to question a few matters.

Now I am not talking some conspiracy theory, but the fact that we usually get confronted with some high end decision and we the people are left with the invoice, should the papers at large not educate us? And with that I mean educate us a lot further beyond the ‘column’ and a copy and paste part? Again the last part is not fair and not correct, but the information part is massively missing. Again, me is not of being an economist (bad grammar intentional), but that I share with a massive part of the audience of those reading a newspaper.

So now we get to the part of German Chancellor Merkel (at http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jan/22/angela-merkel-greece-debts-german-world-economic-forum-davos), I wholeheartedly agree with the quote “it must take responsibility for its debts, as the country heads into crunch elections that could reignite the Eurozone debt crisis“, we gave support again and again (in the way of extra funds), whilst again and again we see the Greek demand to be held non-accountable for it all. We see the need for the Greeks to renegotiate their loans, and payments, whilst striking with the decent regularity of someone getting new clothes. Now, I am not having a go at the Greek population, they have been handed a raw deal, but let us not forget, this raw deal was given to them by their ‘fellow’ Greeks. So, it seems that the anger at others is a simple variation of the blame game. It is an understandable one, but still not the correct actions as I personally see it.

So as we move towards whatever option we could get to, the ‘notion’ of a World Bank Chief making a climate action plea, is not a bad one, but fixing the economy before spending a ton on infrastructure, a massive amount that is not bringing Europeans any ‘debt relief’ seems a little beyond proportions. It is almost like reading on how we need new trousers, whilst the bank has cancelled all our bank cards and our pockets are empty. This is not an exaggerated example. The debts in Europe are for a significant side way beyond proportions.

Consider the following quotes: “Tsipras wants Athens to be forgiven some debts to cut the cost of repayments. This would allow Greece a partial default while staying inside the euro. Brussels has said this is naive politics, if only because Ireland and Portugal, which also have mountainous debts with the EU, would ask for the same” and “Zsolt Darvas, one of the institute’s economists said: “I am convinced that Greece will need new funding from European partners, but its volume should be a few dozen billion euros, say €20bn-€30bn

So not only are the Greek introduced to more stories by ‘Mother Goose’ Tsipras and in addition they will need another infusion of a few dozen billions. So, that comes to well over $2000 for every Greek. What is this money used for? Paying debts? Paying more interest bills? The latter now shows the link between the richest 1% and their unequal growth. In my view it is the foundations and settings for legalising slave labour. How will the Greek population EVER get out of debt?

Which gets us to the final quotes from the Guardian: “A newly minted drachma would be low enough to attract holidaymakers, but without the investment in new hotels, the industry could barely cope. Likewise, investment in new industries would be unlikely unless Tsipras can honour his pledge to root out corruption, something that has eluded the right-wing New Democracy party“, the Greeks cannot rely on tourism as is, especially when they return on the Drachme and that will be valued at 35,000 Drachma to the Euro (just voicing a fictive exchange), and without removing the current implied levels of corruption there is no solution other than the fact that loads of these cash incentives will go towards those who need not benefit and the Greek population gets even less options.

So as we look at these dangers as it will hit Greece and the rest of Europe, one must wonder why these people remain on the spending horse knowing it has not made a decent difference and knowing that added debts will delay economic fortune for additional decades. How is this ever going to be a solution?

 

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