Tag Archives: Switzerland

Retrenching under false pretence

Today we see (at https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/mar/01/len-mccluskey-ford-unite-tariff-free-single-market-access-bridgend), how Ford is moving its needs and its projections towards other places. It fill the pattern and projected promise that have been set in motion a few years ago. The US is moving parts back to the US and some parts to Asia. Australia had been feeling this for some time. Ford left Australia in 2016 when in October the last Falcon XR6 came of the belt. Now we see the beginning of their exodus from the UK and in this the title ‘Unite blames Brexit as Ford prepares to cut 1,160 Welsh jobs‘ is as they call it, a total load of bullocks! You see, this is the other side of a one market and tariff free access. You see, as these costs fall away, making these 4 wheeled thingamajigs in America becomes profitable again. Now, let’s be fair, Ford is an American company. For American companies to move back to their home turf makes sense, it could even be seen as patriotic. But in all this, Ford remains a business. So they need profit to soar and that can be done by having their factories in America and Asia. Brexit was never a factor, Australia never had a Brexit.

Is there a chance that Brexit was any factor? I do not believe so, the UK is not yet in a completed Brexit and it would take a few years before all would be complete, so there is no Issue for Ford, in their camp it was already planned, the entire pressure on Brexit is just tactics, because the US is scared of what comes next, so for the US, in light of the upcoming French elections, the anti-Brexit pressures are essential. The game is changing in France. President Francois Hollande is not seeking a second term, according to the BBC the first French president to do this in modern times (at http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-39130072), he is that unpopular and as such France is seeing several different issues and power plays in place. With one in four under-25’s is unemployed. So even as all parties agree that massive changes are needed, the Socialist failure gives rise to additional voices moving towards Front National. In all this, we see additional moves. We could even consider that this is a partial discriminatory ruling. The EU claims to be all about the freedom of speech and freedom of opinion, yet they will happily lift parliamentary immunity for the French prosecution to take legal action. We can argue the validity here in two ways. One: Marine Le Pen did break French law. Two: how many other French people have been prosecuted for ‘publishing violent images’? I would really like to see the numbers on that one. So as we will see big data mining on transgressors, I wonder how many have not been investigated, which shows that the EU is very willing to upset the sanctity of a fair election, especially as those deciding on this are likely to lose their jobs when Frexit becomes a reality.

So as we see through the (what I personally regard to be) blatant lies by Ford, or better stated by Len McCluskey, and in this as Ford is not forthcoming they get to be tainted by the very same lie. The quote “UK’s biggest trade union has urged Theresa May to guarantee car makers tariff-free access to the single market“, in this I would state ‘Mr McCluskey, are you usually just facilitating for big business?‘, you see, as I see it, Ford is using Len McCluskey not for the plant, not for the single market access ‘need’. No, they want to sweeten the deal! They need other concessions, like the ones they had in Australia. ABC Australia (at http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-12-17/tax-transparency-report/7036708) gave the people a Tax Transparency report. Where: FORD MOTOR COMPANY OF AUSTRALIA LTD, had a Total income ($) of 2,940,670,099 (so basically almost $3 Billion), a Taxable income ($) of a mere 7,057,051. This means that 99.9917% of the income did not need to be taxed. So as we see: Tax payable, Tax payable as percentage of total income, as well as Tax payable as percentage of taxable income. These numbers become zero (that means $0.00 and 0.00%). So is Len McCluskey going to open his eyes? Is he going to realise that he is made the bitch of big business that requires the UK government to give away taxable income in the form of free labour? Perhaps Len McCluskey remembers what slave labour is? All valid questions, more important, if this is the path Ford wants, why not let then fuck off to merry old America? Let’s be fair and honest. America is in dire need of actual jobs and an actual economy. They are bleeding currency value and as such, if American companies decide to retrench in the US to save their home country, than that should be regarded as a noble action. Yet, these companies are run by boards that have one need, dividend and bonuses. Let’s also be honest here, these people don’t make any massive coin, not compared to a few other fortune 500 companies. The top executives, have an income ranging from $5.2M to $17.7M, which in Wall Street terms might be laughingly little, yet the retrenching has the danger of those people losing 28%-42% of what they are getting now. You see, as the US has a collapsing infrastructure, the strain the US is getting by having these manufacturers move back to the US is going to cause a few infrastructural gaskets to blow. It will not happen overnight, but within 24 months they setbacks will hurt Ford, there is no doubt in my mind on that. The level of setback will be anyone’s guess, I do not have any wisdom that could state to any degree of certainty how much the impact is. Yet, when you consider that Ford is working on a 3.9% operating margin (2014 reported numbers) and they walked away from an Australian 99.9917% non-taxation, we should wonder on how they tend to do economically more terrific in the US. It seems to me that the US retrenching has either massive kickbacks, or will come at the consequence of short sightedness and long term hardship. The numbers do not makes sense to walk away from either, but the clarity is that fingering Brexit was not the reason. But then, Ford did not do that, they got

Len McCluskey to do just that. It is the part “McCluskey also demanded that Ford provide “legally binding guarantees” of future production at the plant”. It made me giggle. You see if they had not before, why would they do that now? It seems to me that McCluskey, not unlike Kim Carr in Australia, was either in on part of it for a time, or I need to consider them both to be massively incompetent. A legal binding guarantee after the fact. It is just too hilarious! Of course, when the issue collapses and Ford moves, then we get the real issue, because at that point the blame game starts. In Australia, Kim Carr got to play his game and got the reprieve, so when his labour team got replaced by the Australian Liberal Party (the Aussie Tories), he stood back and got to stand playing with his beard thinking ‘not my problem anymore!‘, yet Len McCluskey does not get to be this lucky, when Ford leaves it will be on his plate and the Unite members will have a massive amount of questions, I wonder how many actual answers Len McCluskey will have.

So all these revelations and facts brought to you because someone decided to blame Brexit and I have actually had enough of those blamers. The fact is that there would always be consequences to Brexit, so when I see another ‘bremainer’ demand a Brexit without consequences, I wonder just how stupid some people tend to get. Another side linked to this is seen in the Independent (at http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/britain-will-not-contribute-to-eu-budget-if-no-brexit-deal-is-reached-says-lords-report-a7609526.html), here we see ‘Britain will not contribute £50bn to EU budget if no Brexit deal is reached, says Lords report‘, the subtitle is even more descriptive ‘The UK appears to have a strong legal position in respect of the EU budget post-Brexit and this provides important context to the Article 50 negotiations‘. The reason to go here is seen in “According to the Lords, EU budget payments – likely to be a contentious issue throughout the Article 50 negotiating period – would not be enforceable and the UK would be in a “strong” legal position to not pay a penny if talks ended with no deal“, so all the hard play we have seen has been absent of a proper analyses of the articles, something the House of Lords was not about to let go. The quote “Theresa May has warned her European allies that the UK is prepared to crash out of the EU if no reasonable Brexit deal is agreed on. In this case, the Lords add, Britain will not be liable to make any further financial contributions to the budget” also implies that there is a two stream issue within the conservatives. You see, when we see the quote of Theresa May against “David Davis, the Brexit Secretary, said earlier this year that the Government would not rule out making future payments to the EU’s budget in order to secure favourable access to Europe’s markets“. The two streams are ‘let’s be flexible about it all‘ and ‘we have had enough of this‘. The point being that large corporations have been souring the cream pushing European politicians to take emotional stands whilst others are trying to muzzle Mario Draghi and his need to spend a trillion no one has. This now pushes back to the Automotives of the land (including the exiting Ford), I think we need to see that the approach that has been used for too long a time, making some industries holy and non-taxed is not the way to go. Now, there are plenty of people who want certain markets to push forward and to have trade deals in place tends to be a good thing. Yet the part that the media seems to ignore again and again is that these deals benefit large corporations to a massive degree, but others tend to fall between the cracks losing out on all those fringe benefits. It is an injustice that has been seen several times and Brexit would allow for a change that gives a level of fairness to it all (allow does not mean it will happen though). So whilst we can agree that there would possibly be an impact, there are still too many waters stirring, so any level of Brexit blame is very premature. That evidence is given additional support when we consider Reuters news from 2015 (at http://www.reuters.com/article/us-autos-ford-asia-idUSKBN0O625Y20150521), it was already forecasted 2 years ago that “When I take a look at Ford’s growth over the next five to 10 years, we believe roughly 60 percent of the growth will be in the Asia Pacific region,” said Dave Schoch, president of Ford’s Asia Pacific region“, which was the first sign that the Ford plants in Australia were at risk. In equal measure, the slowing economy in China saw Ford sales drop, a similar event has been happening in Europe, where the drop is three times higher and here we get the issue. It had a rise for a while and the European numbers looked really good, that is, until you realise that Russia was the only strong contributor to the Ford sales. Yet the Russian slump has been in play and it is now also hurting Ford, whilst the news of ‘rapid recovery unlikely‘ to be at the head of the forecasting table. So when we see Ford media give us (at https://media.ford.com/content/fordmedia/feu/en/news/2017/01/18/ford_s-european-sales-rise-5–in-2016–strong-ford-transit–rang.pdf), “Ford sales rise 5 percent in 2016 to nearly 1.4 million vehicles in its 20 traditional European markets*“, with the reference to Austria, Belgium, Britain, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Romania, Sweden and Switzerland.

Giving us now the one part that the papers were missing. The fact that the sales are not sliding, but the revenue is set to better profitability, in that the element becomes that the UK is only one of 20 nations for Ford and when we add the Ford Authority quote to it from February 20thIn all, the closures terminated nearly 6,000 jobs, although some number of those were merely shifted to lower-cost countries like Spain and Turkey“, as well as “Ford Europe has continued to pare down its workforce, offering “voluntary separation” packages to some 10,000 employees since early last year to help save an estimated $200 million annually” a valid tactical move by Ford going back to well before 2015. So as we see this facts, the entire Ford issue has been playing for a while and a lot of it has been out in the open. So at this point I would ask Len McCluskey where he got the idea “workers had been “kept in the dark”“. I would like to know what actions he had undertaken since December 2015 when this was already underway, more important, the move in Australia should have really woken him up. Did it do that? Because certain facts, clearly given by several sources, some of them openly Ford themselves. It is there where we now see a reason to doubt the existence of both Kim Carr and Len McCluskey (but that is just my view on the matter). Len had the option of making a clear speech to the workers in wales starting by ‘the party is over, there will be massive changes in the future, but we do not know the exact setting, but the worst case scenario is that the plant will seize to exist‘. Did he make that speech? I reckon not, most people like that tend to avoid bad news, especially when events like Brexit can be blamed and that is exactly what he did in the end.

As a final point I need to refer to the quote “We have had, as I said, dialogue with Ford. We will continue to have a regular dialogue with Ford about the ways in which government can help to make sure that this success continues“, which was exactly was happening in Australia, with the happy ending not becoming a reality. There, certain players decided to blame the newly elected liberal government, whilst we clearly see that there is plenty of evidence that Ford had already decided, and the decision was ‘vacate!’

I wonder what McCluskey does next, perhaps blame the Welsh weather?

 

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I know a Japanese joke

An Englishman, and Irishman and a Japanese industrial walk into a bar, which could be the start of a joke, yet there is a very serious issue behind it. You see, when we see (at https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/oct/31/nissan-assurances-over-brexit-cannot-be-published-says-business-secretary) on how “the stark warning from Haruki Hayashi, president of the Japanese chambers of commerce in Britain and the European CEO of Mitsubishi, who said businesses needed more than “general reassurances” if his country’s investment presence in Britain was to be maintained” needs to take a little lesson from a firm called ‘Hypocrisy Inc.‘, when we see (at http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/news/article-2230999/Nissan-sells-UK-cars-Switzerland-tax-ruse.html), which is from 2012 “Nissan Motor Manufacturing, which has received tens of millions of pounds in Government grants to build cars in the UK, is a contract manufacturer for another Nissan company based in Rolle, Switzerland. The Swiss company buys the raw materials and owns the finished cars. It pays the UK business a fee that is slightly higher than the manufacturing costs, limiting the amount of profits that are declared in Britain

In addition, this is a game that Japanese car makers have been playing on a global scale, including Australia, getting millions in grants, getting what was calculated as a $2,000 discount per manufactured car, whilst shipping tens of thousands for sale overseas. The comedy team Kim Carr and Bill Shorten (the honourable BS) from the Australian Labor party were on that merry-go-round, that whilst in week 3 of the new government blaming the Liberal party for ‘losing‘ the automotive industry. I discussed this in May 2016 (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2016/05/22/tuesday-evening-quarterback/), the UK is facing a similar situation, basically, Japanese firms are trying to strongarm a better deal, which is business minded and all fine, yet the Brexit scaremongering thing is getting on my nerves because I am fed-up with this category of ‘wanker‘ (or is the term ‘tosser‘ more correct?) that they represent. For those people I state, there was no Brexit in Australia, Japanese firms will do whatever they can to broker an increased profit any way possible, Brexit is just their latest excuse (whilst we admit that some raised items are a valid concern, there is still no certainty whether the set changes will actually impact). In interesting side that was not mentioned in this comes from Reuters (at http://www.reuters.com/article/britain-eu-nissan-support-idUSL8N1CY3QI). “The support that the UK government has promised carmaker Nissan in return for building new models in Britain could prove expensive, but the Japanese carmaker’s complex structure makes it hard to estimate“, so like Australia, whatever grant the Japanese receive, could be seen as legalising slave labour, for that is basically the setting when the grants add up to work whilst having no cost for the manpower employed. The Reuters article lights up a few additional issues, yet it also gives view that the Bremain group is still playing and pulling lines to scare the population in making them believe that Brexit was a bad idea and as such trying to swing a way to undo Brexit.

So whilst you contemplate those elements, think back to my September article (those who read it) ‘For Only the Messenger‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2016/09/05/for-only-the-messenger/), where we see the Japanese Prime Minister making demands, whilst we also have the added information that he is making demands for companies that funnel sales through Switzerland, so that paying taxation is kept to an unrealistic minimum. Having cars built in the UK, whilst the grants exceed the cost of labour, whilst in addition, sales are funnelled through Switzerland giving them a 10% taxation option, gives voice to the findings of Reuters. The prestige of having cars build in the United Kingdom does not seem to bring the bacon home, the cost for this prestige is a lot more than the UK governments bargained for. So, when I see the quote “The strong intervention from the Japanese came as the business secretary, Greg Clark, claimed the government’s letter to Nissan cannot be published because of commercial sensitivity“, or is it actually a simple reason? Mainly that any person with an abacus or calculator could work out that government administrations have been giving in to car makers for too long a time at way too high a cost to both the consumer and the taxpayers?

This debate on Japanese demands is actually interesting, because the French political left is now more and more on the side of Frexit, so with Frexit now a realistic issue for 2017, we see that 128 million consumers could fall out of reach to these car makers, should they push for certain options. If Japan wants to play around and endanger an optional 18% European consumer base, that’s fine by other car builders. In my view, the push for non-taxability at any cost could be the more expensive one for Japan in the end and with their economy even more on the edge than America is, it is a gamble that they could actually end up losing. The question becomes, how scared are the UK politicians at present and have they done the clear and correct calculations on what the costs are, because paying for people to be employed is not what job creation is about.

We see similar issues with Honda, from the Wall Street Journal (at http://www.wsj.com/articles/honda-net-profit-jumps-39-1477896050), where we see net profits to $1.7 billion for the last quarter, whilst we see that tax breaks are on the clear side of delivery here. The Wall Street Journal also states “The party may grind to a halt once those tax incentives go away“, in my view the question should be, why on earth are we giving tax breaks to any player making 1,700 million dollars of net profit on a quarter?

In addition, when I see “net profit is expected to increase by ¥25 billion yen to ¥415 billion yen as a result of lower costs“, I ask here: ‘How much tax breaks represent the annual 25 billion in increased profit?‘, which is a question we should all ask, especially when we see unrealistic demands from an industry, where a single player in this industry is expected to be making 2 billion a month more. Would you not agree?

This all intersects with the exit strategies from the EU. Brexit is actively an issue, Frexit is currently a realistic change, yet the silent player in this is now Italy with a December 4th vote coming up. This vote is regarding a constitutional referendum regarding the appointment and powers of the Parliament of Italy. In the background however, the changes could also simplify any referendum on leaving the EU if that becomes an issue. The Italeave group is currently not that big, yet grew when Brexit became a reality, also the right wing groups are not that strong at present in Italy, a change that could become a lot more intense when Frexit becomes real, because it would push Germany as they, together with Italy would be the only two anchors leaving the Euro in a somewhat stable state. As I stated before, two currencies will not be able to do that, making Germany and Italy run for the hills soon and fast. Beware! I stated when Frexit becomes a reality! So there is no given, merely an increased level of likelihood, which is no less threatening.

This now strikes back to the Japanese side, because with these changes over the coming two years, any change the Japanese market makes will have other consequences as well. Consider that they suddenly get that ‘special offer’ from Slovenia or Poland. What will happen when France and the UK are out of that single market? They could make a deal together where the UK and France markets support one another whilst pushing other markets to the left. Suddenly certain Japanese dignitaries will need to explain to certain bosses of the Japanese International Trade that their hand of poker backfired, that whilst they only had 3 of the 5 cards to play. That should make for interesting newscasts in Tokyo, I just hope that NHK News will be airing those news cycles with English subtitles.

Are my thoughts realistic?

Well, that is part of the issue. The other part is that politicians on a global scale are always willing to give away the kitchen sink to be able to boast that they secured 100,000 jobs. The fact that nobody is asking what the costs were makes it even easier for them to do this. Yet overall, the consideration of cost is actively being pushed to the foreground by others, giving me a stronger case, but is it strong enough? I honestly cannot tell, but time will tell as we see the publications of concessions given to the car industry.

The question now becomes, who offered what and for what reason, because at this stage, the Bremain group and especially those with political power are eager to make certain promises (within the office they hold), whilst knowingly undermine the continuation of Brexit at the same time, so that hurdle is one we will see a few times more soon enough. So when we get back to the statement that several newspapers reported on ‘Japanese companies have already begun receiving offers to relocate elsewhere in the EU‘, isn’t it interesting that no one is making any claim that they made the offer and no one is making any report on where they might go to. In this place where ‘leaking’ reports is at the core of scaremongering, that fact does not see the light of day. The clarity is, is that the only place where there is a clear benefit to go to apart from the UK, is the Netherlands, because in the end, manufactured cars need to get delivered somewhere, so as the infrastructure goes down, the costs go up by a fair bit. That part is not given consideration to the extent it needed to have. As 50% of the created cars go into export, consider when the factory is in (for example) Germany, what additional jumps would be needed to get the cars to the same location? Sweden has a similar deal, however with out of control weather 3 months a year and additional issues with extreme cold and an additional delivery distance of 1100 miles, what costs would Japan face in addition?

Just questions that impact the decision, there might be answers, or not. What matters is that people are suddenly demanding decisions, taking away the rights that the British voters had. Is it not interesting that this all happens, whilst Wall Street is in absolute fear that Donald Trump might win? The reason to mention this (at http://www.wsj.com/articles/investors-consider-a-brexit-times-10-trump-win-1478111985) is very applicable as the Japanese profit needy corporations rely on stability, something we see here “In the past week or so, the Vix index of volatility has risen from around 13 to just under 20 points; the S&P 500 has fallen for six trading days in a row, for the first time since February 2015; and the Stoxx Europe 600 has fallen for seven days, for the first time since February“, under these conditions, Japanese car makers will resettle somewhere else?

So these three men were in the bar, the Englishman orders an English Chapter 6, the Irishman a glass of Paddy and the Japanese gentleman ordered tea. As all three look at the tea, the Japanese states: ‘If you are not drinking alcohol, then neither am I!‘ (a reference to Awamori)

 

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And so it begins!

Even though Marine Le Pen still has to deal with her daddy, the one person who seems intent to drown the part his daughter was able to make a reality. His extreme approach was never going to work, now that she has shown this, his intention of making that future a non-possibility. Of course her opponents are happy as can be that Jean-Marie seems to go on tantrums making National Front seem too extreme, but the National Front members know better and soon Europe will know this too. What I predicted well over a year ago is still on course, and now, finally the press seems to take a little bit of notice. The quote in the French RFI is “French far-right leader Marine Le Pen has called for an end to all immigration to France, legal and illegal. In a speech aimed at rallying her Front National (FN) ahead of regional elections, she failed to mention her father’s expulsion from the party but did lay into immigrants, Islamists and President François Hollande” and “They don’t tell you this but the immigration situation in France is totally out of control,” Le Pen said at a meeting to mark the start of France’s new political season. “My aim is clear: to stop immigration both legal and illegal. The FN’s programme officially calls for immigration to be limited to 10,000 people per year but Le Pen went further, declaring, “We need national borders for France”“. Of course there is an issue getting this to move as Hollande is still president, but the clarity is a fact. National Front is now on the move, the data as given shows that the anger after the 21 August failed attack on a high-speed train from Belgium to France, France itself is becoming more and more extremely unaccepting regarding Islam extremists and foreign Islamists. Marine Le Pen called for “all foreigners on file for links with radical Islamist movements to be deported“, adding that ““radical mosques” should be closed and their imams be thrown out of the country if they are foreigners“. The French are realising that they got lucky, according to CNN “The three men — a member of the Air Force, an inactive National Guard member and a civilian” stopped what could have been a massacre. The French have had enough and so they should. This view, partially due to what seems to be President Hollande’s inaction. Whatever actions he undertakes now will only fuel the Le Pen campaign.

Now we have a problem, one that hits many others. If France remains on this course, England have no other option but to invoke Brexit. It needs to do so before Frexit becomes a reality. My reasoning is that whomever goes first will have the best options, not the worst options, after that the curve goes down fast. It is for that reason that I oppose the view from François Heisbourg in the Financial Times (at http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/20eb52bc-4cb1-11e5-9b5d-89a026fda5c9.html) the quote “It has a xenophobic and illiberal force all too keen to take advantage of popular fears about the impact of migration in the shape of the National Front (FN), Europe’s largest extreme right wing party, with a base representing some 25 per cent of the electorate. But, until now, Paris has not indicated that it has any clue how to cope“. You see, some might call it ‘xenophobic‘, yet this is the second attack within France and this one was almost successful. We should regard the circumstances a miracle, most will downplay the events into ‘the public can protect us‘ but in all, the governments failed and an open Europe is a dangerous situation, not all nations have the benefit of a tunnel and 5 ferries. Many other places are leaky as a sieve. France has entry points from many overly liberal nations, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Luxembourg and Italy. Belgium also gives access for the Netherlands and the boats are pouring into Italy. France no longer feels secure and yes, it is clear that National Front is pressing that issue as the Financial Times states, but is that fear incorrect or inaccurate? In addition the quote “Europe’s leaders need to live up to our responsibilities as humans and as neighbours, assume part of the burden, and talk straight to the electorate. Continued European and French fecklessness will only improve the far-right’s prospects of success, and will deepen what is already an unprecedented crisis“. This sounds very logical and ‘civil’, but Mr Heisbourg forgets that as the Chairman of the IISS and of the Geneva Centre for Security Policy he lives a nice sheltered life in the areas of far higher income then most others have. I will immediately agree that the bulk (let’s say 99%) are true refugees hoping for a better life, it is the 1% that is a problem, moreover, if we should learn anything it is the fact that most European nations do not have any level of infrastructure to take care of these refugees. That is the part many are ignoring. It is a direct consequence of bad budgeting. France and Italy are direct examples of evidence here. The UK and Greece are also in a place where funds are lacking. Together we are looking at close to 7 trillion in debt, in all that those governments are seeing an influx of thousands of refugees trying to find a future whilst support is no longer a financial option. Interesting how so many players ignore that part in all this. Yet the people of the UK, France, Italy and Greece see the immigrants for what they perceive them to be: “a direct threat to liveable income” any refugee who is sincere in his travel is also sincere in finding a job, a way to support their family. One in 10 in Europe does not have a job, any job given to them will be another job not going to their own citizens. This is a warped number as these people are often not equipped to do most of the jobs but the low schooled ones, bring a wave of fear to those in lowly paid jobs, fuelling places like UKIP and FN, which is why the French issue is escalating. What is not clearly shown is the effect that 270,000 refugees in Greece and Italy alone have on the EEC. I understand that people like François Heisbourg have an idealistic view. For the most people like him truly believe in that vision, but as governments cannot maintain their budgets, as large corporations are paying less and less taxation and as they fuel their own board of directors, governments at large no longer have any proper means to support such an influx. Whatever these people tell you, whatever fairy-tale you get told, realise that 270,000 people will cost us between 270 and 500 million each month. So this takes up to 6 billion a year and that is just from the present group, now add the 2014 group and in addition the people that will come in until December. Now explain to me how these nations who are already missing out on billions a year will add that to their invoice?

In all this, the people all over Europe see their cost of living rise, their past income is not coming back and the financial troubles for Europe are only just beginning. The Chinese market is a mess and it will influence the American market too. To what extent? I cannot tell, I actually do not know, but what I do know is that any change in the EEC will have a massive influence on the American bubble and the American way of life. Most of these facts have been ignored by many players of the media, there was always a whiff of ‘prosperous foresight‘, followed soon thereafter by ‘managed bad news’. Now as more and more people feel the pinch of non-sustainable cost of living, their Samaritan tolerance went straight out of the window.

With the Chinese market in turmoil, Germany, France, the US and the UK are now feeling the dangers that a collapsed Chinese market brings. The 0.7% growth in the UK could soon become a negative number, fuelling fears for the people who are not even close to move out of the valley of debt. With that fear in the UK, the fear in France will grow even faster and Germany will soon fill the ranks. We are so willing to be Samaritan when our lives are decently secure, but that is no longer the case and François Heisbourg should know this. Yes, they are correct that some places like Calais are incidental, but overall 270,000 people are not incidental and that number is only a small part of the entire collection.

These ignored facts and half-truths all moved under some rug is part of all the events that allow for groups like National Front to grow the way it does. This all falls into nothingness when we realise the millions, yes millions of refugees in Jordan and Lebanon. If you think the price from Europe is high, then what is the price that falls in those two nations? Even if we do not completely ridicule the statement in the Sydney Morning Herald, where we see “Alarmists overstate risk of deluge in West from refugee ‘flood’“, we see a flood of ’emotional’ statements like “Australia could relieve some of the pressure on Europe by taking in several thousand genuine refugees to resettle here” and “Everyone has the right to seek asylum, the hysteria over the tiny minority around the world who do so by sea is bewildering when we consider people have been sailing around the world for centuries” (at http://www.smh.com.au/comment/smh-letters/alarmists-overstate-risk-of-deluge-in-west-from-refugee-flood-20150828-gj9urp.html), all nicely ignoring the fact that this planet is not at 5.7 billion as it was in 1995. No, 20 years later when it is 7.3 billion. Nearly all the nations are deep in debt and their infrastructures can for the most not even contain its own population. If the people truly, really truly wants to be humanitarian, then get a majority to agree to a 10% rise in taxation. No, that will not do either, that money will have to come from the rich. 4,000-10,000 will have to pay for billions they do not have. A social structure that failed from the get go, because those so into support of that, have been unable to cull business by properly taxing them. Labour giving billions in subsidies, draining the treasury coffers. They did this in Australia, the UK, the Labour way and now as there is no money they all cry foul. Is that not weird?

The initial issue of budget, no one seems to be able to do it and now, as there is no money left, they all wonder where our humanity remains. Well, that went to the car factories so that they got to make a car $1900 cheaper and now they moved to Asia. The UK has the Flagship £1bn youth unemployment scheme, as well as the issue that Prime Minister David Cameron has failed to curb welfare spending. That is not an attack or a bad thing. It is a mere consequence of the economy in the UK that only appears to be growing but it is nowhere near where it was and the people in the UK are for the most down in their finances and will remain to be so for at least a decade. As such, the infrastructure suffers as loads of money basically go down a drain. In all this we hear about the need for humanitarian aid, but none of the treasuries has the funds to allow for this. It is the most basic of failings, perpetrated by governments on both sides of the isle for the better part of 2 decades. It is not about blame, it is about the reality that the bulk of people are ignoring. In the end most lives depend on what a spreadsheet allows and none of them have allowed for any substantial space for ‘the budgeting of refugees’ a massive failing. I wonder if the power players hoping for an Arabian spring had any idea the massive backlash their actions would have. Now well over 200,000 killed and millions displaced, with no end in sight. When the millions of refugees start dying of starvation, or disease, where will the humanity of our soul be budgeted?

 

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More FIFA shit?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Finding inspiration

The act to incite, perhaps even a form of stimulus. Yet, when we go back to a more theological page we see: ‘a divine influence directly and immediately exerted upon the mind or soul‘. So what is wrong with inspiration? You see whilst inciting could be seen to encourage a positive term, incitement is for the most ALWAYS negative. When we see incitement we see: ‘the action of provoking unlawful behaviour or urging someone to behave unlawfully‘, why not see incitement an act as to encourage positive change? Even stimulus is now nearly always seen as a negative. The stimulus package being a foremost example.

In an age where hardship rules, we could use a positive force, yet when we see that projection of feigned wellness is combined with managed bad news, what positive force could be atoned? This is the thought that has been in the back of my mind as I am completing my current assignment. A choice I made in the past, whenever I get one step forward, the next instance I am facing two steps back. This is perhaps just a situation that exists between my two ears (as we refer to mental issues).

Greece is not even the foremost example on my mind. There are other issues where we see a change on what is for some and will never be for most. The next part seems a little repetitive as I have mentioned these parts in the past.

  1. How is it possible?

Here we see a side of the world that seems out of context as per last year. Forever the oil prices were going up and up until it went beyond $120. Profits were astronomical. Now, as prices are just below the lowest basement, we see the following parts (at http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/apr/26/bp-profits-down-still-in-deep-water). “It’s a big week for big oil, with both BP and Royal Dutch Shell reporting results. Despite crude prices hitting a 2015 high at the end of last week, they are still almost 50% down since last June, which means continuing trouble for the businesses“. Now consider the reality. Take a litre of crude oil, ½ becomes Petrol, one third becomes Kerosene and the rest goes into dozens of other products. Now consider the history of your shopping. Since 2008 (and since the oil drop of 2014), when did your petrol price go down and by how much? Jet fuel should go down, yet Virgin, Qantas and others are keeping the Jet fuel surcharge in place. So at present we have accounted for almost 85% of the crude oil, the rest goes into products like soap, Vaseline and other carbon based artefacts.  None have ever made a decent downgrade in price. However, the article claims on such hardships even though the price of the raw resource is still lower than ever. So what stories are we being told? Are the oil companies guilty of incitement to exploitation?

  1. How are we in this position?

Here are 8 mergers for last year, several more are to come and hundreds more have passed and a fair amount of mergers are set at mega billions, several in the pharmaceutical industries.

Lets take a look at a few of the 2014 mergers: Value: $67.1 billion, May 18, 2014, Value: $46.8 billion, June 15, 2014, Value: $46.8 billion, April 7, 2014, Value: $25.3 billion, February 18, 2014, Value: $23.6 billion, March 11, 2014, Value: $19.4 billion, February 19, 2014, Value: $17.1 billion, April 30, 2014, Value: $16.01 billion, January 13, 2014. Total $262 billion. Now consider that these mergers are for the most tax-free when they are seen “as reorganizations through acquisition. Under this model, companies must swap, rather than outright sell, assets and equity such that the two companies end up becoming one new company with an agglomerated store of assets and equity“, that is very nice for the boards of directors and as multiple borders are broken, many options (highly complex ones) open up to maximise non taxability. Yet, many governments have done next to nothing to curb this form of greedy exploitation at the expense of the local governments whose protection they enjoy and the exploited workers who are left at the short end of the stick in many cases, again and again. There is often little consequence for the acquiring party will soon find themselves in an upward reorganisation, but the other party is more often than not in a less positive position, which is the way of the world, I will not oppose the issue of reorganisation and acquisition, yet the laws have been bend beyond reasonable. In the near past there was a level of equilibrium, as the governments got a slice of that pie. Now, as too many levels of non-taxability are offered, we see a completely unbalanced view of life, to a smaller part in regards to rich industrialists, but to the largest extent to a whole score of enabling politicians with a limited sight to the future whilst blind staring to what was in the past the ‘now’ and never to adjust the future of what should be.

We are all feeling these shortcomings now, Greece a lot more than the others I might add!

Now we get back to Greece for one simple example. The one thing Greece had to do for well over a decade is the step only taken (if we can believe the press) only last week (at http://www.newsweek.com/greece-launches-frantic-crackdown-tax-evaders-ahead-repayments-324927), here we see the story of Leonidas Bobolas, arrested and not to be released until back taxation had been paid. Some might think it is a solution, for me and many others it is a final desperate act by a government that did not take things serious until it was too late. This must be a laughing moment for Kostas Vaxevanis, whose list must be very important at this moment, but there is every chance that the truly big rollers are getting away with it all and more important, the money that will be gotten here is nowhere near the amount required for the payments over the next 16 weeks. It is the final spasm of a nation that has every real danger of becoming extinct a second time. New Greece might soon join Ancient Greece as it becomes forgotten, slowly but surely.

OK, I admit that this future is unrealistic (not to mention vastly exaggerated), but is that not how the Greeks currently feel? A system so broken that the people are suffering. The place where Democracy was born by the mind of Aristotle. It was the foundry where the Olympic Games were devised, yet in all its social paths, the one path forgotten was the safety of the Greek future. Why will this tax evasion path fail? Well, consider that Leonidas Bobolas is ‘regarded’ as one of the large evaders, now consider that his due taxation was less than 2 million Euro and add to this the following quote: “Government data suggested that some €70bn was owed in unpaid tax at the end of 2014. Transparency International found the country’s opaque tax code and corruption of tax collectors meant evasive tax arrangements could be set up for as little as €100“. To get to 70 billion, they would need at least 55,000 tax evaders, all due 1.5 million, now consider the Kostas Vaxevanis list that covered less than 2100 names. The amount due cannot be met, not even close through this way. In addition we see even more posturing of inaction. This comes again from Yanis Varoufakis who stated: “one of the key reforms the government was proposing was the creation of a fully independent tax commission to tackle the problem“. I would personally translate this into a delay of up to 24 months with no actual actions at all. This one arrest is just for show as I see it, a few more will make headlines, but in the end, the funds will not be there on time and we can state that clear evidence of inaction from the Greek government is a mere display of fact.

Why mention Greece?

Greece is at present the extreme example, but not the least of the issues. It shows a governmental failing that is present all over Europe. Greece in its position is only the first one to visibly no longer manage its upcoming bills. The majority of European nations have maintained an inability to manage budgets, which is the second tier in this. As these governments make new mentions of ‘stimulus’ as a solution, it only masks an inability of forward momentum, whilst on the other side of that formula we see governmental spending sprees that cannot be covered in any way, shape or form. One example is the Dutch Stimulus package of 2009, one document (at http://ec.europa.eu/economy_finance/economic_governance/sgp/pdf/20_scps/2009-10/01_programme/nl_2010-01-29_sp_en.pdf) forecasts a GDP growth of 2% in both 2011 and 2012, a number that would never be achieved, in the end, the growth would be -0.2% and -0.6%, the year after that it was -0.8%, we can speculate that without the stimulus it would have been worse, which is a likely result, but the fact remains, how well are the people off? Let’s not forget that stimulus packages are basically loans, the interest on those billions go somewhere, so in the end the people pay! France with its 26 billion package in 2008 would not see a positive jump until late 2013, then only 0.6%, after that until 2014, France only marginally kept its head above water. Italy does not even get close to those numbers and only had one moment in 2013 where they were positive at 0.1%, the rest is all negative. They pushed in a mere 9 billion. So with three nations, Europe has spent 44 billion and no real results to show. It could be debated as I stated earlier that the state of affairs for those nations would be a lot worse, I could agree with this on the mere premise of the thought. Yet, the one issue that should have been done, namely proper budgeting has not been achieved by any of these nations for over a decade and debts are stockpiling. This has been at the centre of my considerations for a long time.

 

Whether this is mere bad budgeting or a completely unbalanced system where corporations have been uber enabled, whilst their rights are not questioned is another matter entirely. In that regard we have the HSBC view (at http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/apr/24/hsbc-warns-it-could-leave-uk-over-eu-referendum-uncertainty), where the option of the UK leaving the Eurozone would make HSBC move offices to other shores. Yet, when we google this bank we see articles on how they pay millions and millions less than expected. Now, these articles are not the ones you should have too much faith in, but with this much smoke, the question becomes, were tax bills burnt? I am willing to partially ignore the Swiss scandal as this is only one instance, it is the overall picture that goes far beyond just the HSBC. When we consider Libor, the fines of billions that followed with banks all over the world, we see that populations all over Europe, even on a global level are denied the funds for their support that they should be entitled to. Yet, the paths taken now are also questionable. I support to the larger extent both the Conservative path as well as the Australian Liberal party. Here we see a protection against naming apparent tax-dodgers. My reasoning? If a company engages in legal paths for revenue and investments whether on shore or offshore where the tax laws allow for it, the companies who are creative enough to exploit the loophole shouldn’t be punished. This is at the core of the issue, the tax system has to be fixed and altered. Yet, as we see with HSBC, politicians are often too scared for their own political hide (as I personally see it) and will push forward any tax change. This has gone on for over a decade and many changes are yet to be properly addressed. This is at the heart of the matter.

In the end, what is the wisest of actions? To cater to HSBC and mind liking parties that seem to pay the minimum in taxation, whilst at the same time, the millstones of debt are dragging down all European nations? The UK might have the highest European debt (1.7T), yet the path that the conservatives have taken its population has the best options to lower the debts whilst offering a modest growth. The inability of the other European nations to adhere to this is only one of several factors. Greece is now becoming a larger issue as their timeline of pushed from April to May and now we see the mentioning of June by Yanis Varoufakis: “We wish to merge the current review with the June agreement“, which is now a more pressing issue as the voters in May would steer fast into a direction many will not like, this is the danger, as emotion drove Greeks towards Syriza, that same dangerous move could push the UK voters stronger towards UKIP and the Euro exodus that could follow. Another version where we see a legal incitement away from the Euro, there is no inspiration, just a need for what could be regarded as ‘false sense of security‘. That danger only increases when we consider the next quote: “Tsipras said he was optimistic an interim agreement would soon be reached. But Greeks know another bailout will be needed even if the short-term €7.2bn is secured“, that part and the inability of the Greek government to seriously commit from day one is at the heart of all this.

A need to incite a tax system that works more honest towards the nations that give ‘free’ protection to the corporations that seem to shun a moral refinement is needed. Not just for the UK, but for all European nations. Yet, will this happen? This is the question we should ask when we look at the papers from the IEA (Institute for Economic Affairs), where we saw on December 1st 2014 the following quote: “Despite the Conservative’s pledge to raise the threshold to £50,000, over 5 million taxpayers will pay the higher rate of income tax by the end of the next parliament. Indeed, it is likely that the number of higher rate taxpayers will continue to increase even if the threshold is raised“. I question the spirit of this. You see, the groups are 24.1 million in the basic rate and 4.5 million in the higher rate (source: UK Statistics Authority). I do not deny these numbers, yet, raising the threshold will force other measures too. A more immediate and more just move would be to increase the 0% rate from £10.6K to £13K, which will also benefit the higher rate to some extent (£2.5K less taxable), after this I personally advocated raising both groups, the Basic rate +1% and the higher rate +2%. he reasoning is simple, in the end a budget has to be met, even though we see these ‘holier than thou‘ groups all moving for more tax breaks, yet, in the end, until tax loops and tax havens are dealt with, the tax coffers will remain massively underfunded. Let’s not forget that the UK has to meet a 1.7T issue, all using official bank notes with the ‘£’ symbol (replacing IOU’s in place). If the IEA really wants to push certain tax shifts without properly balancing the equation, we will see a push for drastic austerity sooner rather than later. It is not a mere guess, it is an outcome of mathematical certainty. Only after a serious dent has been made in the total debt, then it would be possible to consider a change. All this is now endangered when we see ‘promises’ by Ed Miliband as he states: “Labour will pledge to deliver a surplus in the current budget as soon as possible in the next parliament. This could allow the party to borrow to fund capital investment for infrastructure projects“, so a surplus and MORE borrowing? So basically he will likely spend his budget and the budget of the next administration in one go. The UK is still dealing with the borrowing acts of a previous governing labour. I see at the heart of ANY government at present, the need to borrow ZERO, whilst still reducing the overall debt to some degree (not possible to state by how much), this is the only way to incite true growth, to inspire a growing economy and to stimulate some version of ‘quality of life’. There are a few steps that any of the elected parties could do, but that requires vision, I have some answers, but filling that solution will take a different view, not one of borrowing, but one of an adapted vision that allows for new growth by changing the equation of costing, a different approach to a changing world where the UK moves ahead stronger still, which will be good for the entire Commonwealth at large!

An act to incite stimulus through Inspiration, a positive wave not based on pre-spending.

 

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The economy of change

It is now three months to the day that I wrote ‘A seesaw for three‘, in there I spoke about the Swiss Franc and the changes they decided on. In that article you can read: “So the SNB decided to abandon the ceiling on the franc, in response, the spring-loaded franc shot higher“, makes perfect sense. Why should a nation with a relative low debt hold this much in risk? So now we get a new dance! “The SNB’s decision to suddenly go back on a previous policy it had claimed to be committed to will make markets think twice before taking the bank at its word“.

This was always the issue, why should nations with relative low debt pay for the short sightedness of the incapable? In addition, the claim ‘The SNB’s decision to suddenly go back on a previous policy‘ is also a loaded part, you see, as we see with Greece at present, it seems that policies are not being kept all over the field, even now there is an implied orchestration to let Greece ‘kinda’ of the hook. The words of Christine Lagarde for creditors to go ‘soft’ on Greece is not helping. Then there is the thought I offered with: “Perhaps the question that Katherine Burton (the writer) at Bloomberg should be asking is “How come such managed levels of foreign currency holdings were left out in the open to this extend, especially after the Cyprus issue”“.

The day before that one, I wrote ‘Year of the last Euro?‘ (17th January 2015), there I stated “previous administrations lived under some umbrella with the picture of a sun, which they took as an eternal summer! Instead of caution, they ignored basic rules and just went all out on a spending spree. Now that all the money is gone, the coffers are instead filled with ‘I OWE U’ notes. When every nation spends more than they are receiving, no one will have any money left, yet governments started to borrow to one another. So, those in debt were borrowing massive amounts to one another, even though no one had any money, is no one catching on?

I saw the writing months ago, which is why I have been hammering on the Greek issue, it should not be prolonged, and there should be no ‘alternative‘ or a ‘continuation‘. Now we get the Guardian (at http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/apr/18/us-interest-rates-rise-federal-reserve-market-crash), the subtitle ‘Janet Yellen’s decision will have global consequences – and the end of ultra-low rates could mean meltdown for indebted countries‘, whatever are you saying Mr Bond?

I have stated again and again that those in severe debt will feel the consequence at some point. Now we see the increased risk that interest rates will rise. Yet again we see dismissals, now from Olivier Blanchard. Was he not the one who came up with “Rethinking Macroeconomic Policy” (at http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/spn/2010/spn1003.pdf)?

So are we witnessing the start of targeted inflation? The quote that Olivier makes “companies may have hedged their position, while investors and finance ministers were well prepared“, well, in that regard, my response is: ‘companies that are credit maxed are never hedging positions, an elemental truth at times and as for the preparation of investors we can argue that they are usually geared towards greed (relying on a 15% turnover in a 3% world) whilst in addition, finance ministers on a global scale have been pushing things forwards for a long time, relying on the sun returning the next morning. This approach works for a week, but after 157 weeks of clouds, those finance ministers tend to project sunshine from memory, forgetting the reality of the sun’. If you doubt this then consider the list of finance ministers who correctly kept their budget. I tell you now that this list has diminished to zero for some time now. Some even exceeded their budget shortage through managed bad news, a growing trend all over Europe.

In illustration the IMF wrote in regards to the possible financial crash “It highlighted how any shock can send investors fleeing; with only sellers in the market, the price keeps plunging until someone believes it has gone far enough and starts buying“, yes this is how the rich get to be even richer, my immediate concern is the dangers that superfunds and retirement funds are sitting as they might be facing another 15%-30% write off. I wonder how people feel about the consequence of their retirement funds collapsing again and now they will have to work until they are 75-80.

So, is this realistic? Am I in an evangelising ‘panic’ mode?

One might think this, but if you have followed my blog, I have consistently written over a period exceeding a year that the first need was to diminish government debts. It was the number one issue that had to be dealt with, nothing else mattered, because those without debt would get by and those in debt will get a massive invoice. Now we see that danger. So the initial quote that the Guardian had “higher interest rates in the world’s largest economy could come this year” is not just a fab, it is a reality that will push interest payments to new heights. Did Switzerland foresee this, or were they just too unhappy with the risk the Euro had? No matter what, their act seems to have been a good one and releasing the debts they were holding onto is now a second need.

There is a side that seems slightly offensive to me. When we consider “But while it is almost certain Turkey, Brazil, Russia and many others that have seen their businesses and governments borrow heavily in dollars to maintain their spending will suffer higher borrowing costs courtesy of Yellen“, is that true? Is it due to the courtesy of Yellen, or is it because the bulk of politicians cannot get a grasp on their spending spree?

Let’s face it, rates would never remain low and many are following the good news cycle that it will remain, that change is not good and as such, they forget that in their eyes rate rises are not realistic, but they do not control the algorithm. So here we all are, in a place where change is about to befall many, the outcome largely relies on your personal stability, which is a lot easier when your debts are down.

So where lies the economy of change in our favour? That is the true question that matter and I am not sure if I can answer that. I believe it to be dependent on corporations having a balanced realistic long term view. I am however uncertain to predict who those players are. Yet, if we take a look at British politics, we should consider the following; Ed Miliband states “Labour leader tells ‘one nation’ Conservatives he’s on the centre ground and will keep Britain at heart of EU”, how is that a reality? Then there is the quote “Miliband says the past 10 days of the campaign have seen the Tories become the “incredible party”, whose unfunded promises on everything from the NHS to transport and housing have turned them into the party of ‘funny money’“, so how does this relate to the economy of change?

Well, the simple matter is that Labour decided to spend 11.2 billion on an NHS IT system, that system never came, the money is gone and the NHS is weaker still. These are simple facts that you the reader can Google in any browser. There is housing progress, but not as much as many would like. In this time of change, Labour wants to spend more money, get the UK in deeper debt, now consider the US raising the interest by 0.5%, in regards to the 1.7 trillion in debt, that change could cost the tax payer an additional 8.5 billion, considering that the IMF claimed that the UK will be short 14 billion, adding to that will be a very dangerous act.

So will the economy of change require us to throw Greece out of the Euro? Will the change of interest topple France and Italy? There are too many factors, but there is certainty that the markets will be massively impacted once the percentage changes. Andy Burnham, the shadow health secretary, will come ‘He will cite figures in Health Education England’s (HEE) Workforce Plan for England 2015/16, which he says shows the service will be employing nearly 2,000 fewer nurses over the next four years – for reasons “mainly driven by affordability”’ This is a fact we cannot ignore, yet the fact that many sides are not willing to make the hard calls on certain NHS issues, does have an impact in all other quadrants, this includes nursing staff. So before Andy Burnham comes with the alleged plan that the NHS cannot survive another 5 years of David Cameron, perhaps Andy would like to look into his own party and find the plus 11 billion that they had spent on something that never came to be. I am certain that the cutting of nurses would not have been a reality if the 11 billion had not been lost to virtual plans that never became a reality.

The last of the pork pies can be found here: “Labour has set out a better plan to invest £2.5bn extra each year, on top of Tory spending plans, paid for by a mansion tax on homes worth £2m, to fund 20,000 more nurses and 8,000 more GPs.”, the current UK plan is at a deficit, so where is the 2.5 billion coming from? Mansion tax sounds nice in theory, but those places need maintenance too, which means plumbers, electricians and so on. Also, why keep on pounding the ‘wealthy’ places again and again? It is like the wealth tax. Stating on how the rich can afford more tax. The simple reality is, is that those making more than 1 million is only 6,000 people and roughly another 16,000 make £500,000 to £1 million. So how will you tax them? 60% addition? Where will you get the money to fund 28,000 health care workers? The idiocy of Labour as they make these claims is just too unwarranted. Now add to that the news from 7 hours ago that the interest rates could rise. Once they do, the deficit will grow even more.

So as we see these interactions of change, many of them not realistic, we need to realise that Austerity is here to stay for at least two more administrations, not because we want to, but because the increase of a mere 0.5% amounts to the bulk of all NHS costs, we might not survive a third increase, so we must fight now, so that we can all move forward sooner instead of never.

 

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True torture

This issue started a while before this. The title “Tony Abbott: Australians ‘sick of being lectured to’ by United Nations, after report finds anti-torture breach” is just an incentive for emotion. (at http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/tony-abbott-australians-sick-of-being-lectured-to-by-united-nations-after-report-finds-antitorture-breach-20150309-13z3j0.html).

There are two quotes that need to be looked at: “Mr Abbott’s criticism of the UN follows his attack last month of Australian Human Rights Commission President Gillian Triggs, in which he called the report she commissioned on children in detention a ‘political stitch-up’” and “The United Nations report, by the UN’s special rapporteur on torture, finds Australia is violating the rights of asylum seekers on multiple fronts under the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment“.

I am all for human rights! I think Human rights are important, but what about the people ‘orchestrating’ the message?

Let’s that a look at the message ‘U.N. Urges U.S. To Treat Migrants as Refugees’ (at http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/07/08/329774643/u-n-urges-u-s-to-treat-migrants-as-refugees). The message seems to be clear, but what is that message? When we consider the quote “The refugee agency is particularly concerned about the large number of unaccompanied children arriving in the U.S. Washington estimates more than 90,000 unaccompanied children will arrive by the end of September“.

This was the news of last year. You see, what we all ignore (especially Labor and Greens) is that this all has a cost, it does not matter whether it is in Australia, Canada or America. When we accept refugees we accept financial responsibility to some extent. This is the not so nice part if us trying to be good and humane, there is a cost and we do not shy away from it, but we have limits, we all do! With every irresponsible act of spending what none have we limit our options and limit those who we allow in as well.

There is however another side, the side from the UN as we see the title ‘Asylum seeker torture report: United Nations special rapporteur Juan Mendez responds to Tony Abbott criticism‘ (at http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/asylum-seeker-torture-report-united-nations-special-rapporteur-juan-mendez-responds-to-tony-abbott-criticism-20150310-13zrwz.html). The quote “I think we in the United Nations also deserve respect and I wish the Prime Minister had taken my views on this more seriously and engaged with my rapporteurship more constructively” is a defence and a subtitle, also a statement that is not incorrect, but perhaps incomplete. When we see the quote “Among the concerns raised by the report was that escalating violence on Manus Island, and the ‘intimidation and ill-treatment of two asylum seekers’ who gave statements about last year’s violent clashes at the centre was in breach of the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment” issues come to light. Now, it is important that I am not making any claims of dishonesty or that the claims are lies. There would be no way for me to prove it. In addition, it is nice that we get these ‘verdicts’ from the UN, an administrative group where those ‘voices’ are incomes vastly above minimum wage, an income fuelled by other governments, but guess what, EVERY single one of these nations are in debt, not one excluded! Yet, this is not about money, or the income of some of these comfortable living executives. Let’s take a look at some of the elements.

Let’s restate the phrase: “intimidation and ill-treatment of two asylum seekers“, now, I am willing to blindly accept the following:

  1. There are likely more than 2 victims
  2. Let’s accept that in every case it is always both intimidation and ill-treatment

Now let’s take a look at the information form Amnesty international (at http://www.amnesty.org.au/refugees/comments/33587/), where they state the following: “There are currently 1,100 asylum seekers detained on Manus Island, all of whom are men who arrived without their families. These men have fled war, chilling acts of torture, threats of death, or profound discrimination. Many of them have made the desperate decision to make a perilous journey from Indonesia and other countries, including Sri Lanka, to Australia“.

Now, let’s be realistic and accept that more than two people have faced certain ordeals, there is no way for me to clearly find (at present) how many faced events. But if we take 20 people, than the issue revolves around 1.8% opposed to 0.18%. 1.8% might be too large, and I would agree with it, but we all seem to forget that a detention centre like that, is a place with constant pressures and clashing cultures, there are uncertain times ahead for many of these people, so pressures will come to a boil pretty fast in a place like that.

I am trying not to trivialise, but the need for better statistics is evidently required before we start a dictionary war between Australian parliament and the UN, whilst we know that the media is ‘presiding’ both sides whilst they enjoy the benefit of the occurring discord.

Yet, in the end, the actual culprit has not once been named. Oh, evil villain, oh master of the dischordian principle that weighs the loom of infinity unto the hands of fate. I have seen thee oh villain and I name thee………. (wait for it)………. Tax-Man!

Yes, in all the issues of emotion, so many forget that humanitarian aid must be paid for. Humanitarian causes require funds to exist, as do immigration centres, because they are a pure cost for any government. Which is one reason why Greece is getting rid of them tout-suit! In addition, they are so broke they are now returning to the need for WW2 reparations from Germany, which I will not condemn, but in reality, their own Tax-Man did not do anything, which covers close to 1/3rd of all their debt. So as they ignored current debts (and irresponsible spending), they go back to WW2. It makes perfect sense, the Greek PM and that finance ‘Rock Star’ have no other options (if they want to remain in power), but this is not about the Greek debt!

This is about refugees and the truth is that many nations (most of them), they are all failing refugees, mainly because of Tax-Man. You see, this super villain relies on the help of its sidekick Mrs. Poli Titian and this sidekick has been overspending, giving tax breaks to large corporations in a whimsy notion that under those condition more money would come in. It was a flawed approach, because they all rely on people SPENDING money. Guess what? They overspend on luxuries and are now paying it off, many have no jobs and many more have been in an income world that resembles the world of Frozen, whilst the cost of living is still rising. All this adds up to empty coffers.

So Mr Juan Mendez, where will these costs come from? This is not my lashing out, this is me actually asking. I remain in favour to help refugees as much as possible, but how? We need to make massive changes to the way of life we now have. Mrs Poli Titian needs to actually instigate massive changes. Not just in Australia, US, Canada et al. ALL nations need to accept certain changes. We need to readdress the way we think and I will admit right here, right now that I am at a loss how to go best about it.

In my view, there is an option, but it is not one you like, not one you will even find acceptable or humane.

  1. Retirement homes are as per now only for those without family. If they have family, they must go there. This needs to be a global change

Yes, you are all upset now. Yet consider, if we unite families we shrink the costs of arranging all this, yet in answer, those funds will ALL go to legal aid, health care aid and refugee aid.

  1. Refugees can come in, but only assigned to volunteer positions for places like Salvation Army, St. Vincent, Red Cross and other volunteer places. For this they receive room and board. It will give aid to other places, work force and support. For that they will receive a place in our community and after 5 years they will get automatic citizenship.

Non-compliance means expulsion from that nation!

This is not even that harsh, the situation could become a lot worse soon enough, then what will we do? As we get all these academic people (and governmental expert consultants) telling us how things will get better soon, hoping that they can avoid actually answering the question in earnest.

The Greek example of their detention centres might have been the most outspoken, but I feel certain that they are not the worst, not by a long shot. Real refugees want to work towards a better future, my solution seems to be less, but it still gives them a guaranteed future for them and their children.

The parliament of Australia site gave me two paragraphs that matter (at http://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Parliamentary_Departments/Parliamentary_Library/pubs/rp/rp0001/01RP05).

Asylum seekers are drawn to particular countries by a range of obvious factors-proximity, family and ethnic community networks, employment opportunities and wage levels, generosity of welfare systems, levels of tolerance within existing societies, and the accessibility of determination systems. In Europe last year 70 per cent of asylum seekers sought protection in just four countries-Germany, Britain, Switzerland and the Netherlands. Acceptance rates are more revealing of a country’s political priorities, or its attitude to migration, or the weight of numbers it has had to deal with, or its diplomatic relations with ‘sending’ countries, than the genuineness of refugee claims” and “Australia is perhaps unique amongst Western countries in its capacity and willingness to remove failed asylum seekers; in other countries most failed asylum seekers simply remain. Australia has however joined other countries in attempting to discourage new applicants. The most minimal welfare payment, special benefit, is provided to illegally arrived asylum seekers even after they have been determined to be Convention refugees; they are provided with temporary visas with no family reunion entitlements; and they are denied access to settlement services tailored for and provided free to off-shore refugees

In my view refugees would (read: should) willingly go to any place that will accept them, this information gives a slightly different view. It is also interesting that the information is incorrect. The Dutch numbers are going down, whilst the Swedish numbers were going up. Moreover, the Swedish numbers are over 25% higher, yet the premise of the writ is not strongly affected. In this light we will see that the economies of the large 6, Germany, France, United Kingdom, Sweden, the Netherlands and Switzerland will soon change stronger and stronger if large changes are not made. Reasoning is that ‘in earnest’ (not in condemnation of any kind), refugees are an economic burden. They often cannot speak the language, the culture is different and there will be other moments that will stop them from becoming an asset to any future (most important their own future).

The solution that I am proposing might seem ‘inhumane’, but they are cast in places where people are less likely to take advantage of them. They will be in places helping their new nation and as such themselves as well and they will get exposed to a strong impulse of skills, language and cultural foundations that will only propel them stronger in future. In that light their children will already be eligible for schools and will help them build even stronger foundations.

Is my plan the best? No, it is not, but by giving it to large industries, who gave a massive part of that to their own members of the board is certainly never going to be a solution. This is not some anti-industry chant. The issue is that life in any environment requires equilibrium. A ‘coalition’ and politicians with their ‘after-elected’ need, as I personally see it, have been uniting for the need of a few and that need has been answered for these few to such an extent that the many are now no longer regarded as essential. We have now entered into the realm of trimming. Not the trimming of the fat, but the trimming of non-consumers and in the short minded view of the industry, those, of whom they think no one needs. But in that same view we will also trim our humanity, reduced to be workers, for the lessened good of consuming.

My view is not a good one, but as I see it, it beats where we are moving towards. In the end, is my view just an exaggerated negative view? I personally wish it was so, but consider the following facts:

External debt and population

  1. Germany – 5.5 trillion – 81m
  2. France – 5.7 trillion – 64m
  3. United Kingdom – 9.5 trillion – 65m
  4. Sweden – 1.1 trillion – 10m
  5. Netherlands – 2.5 trillion – 17m
  6. Switzerland – 1.6 trillion – 8m

Now take the next part in close (but sceptical consideration), one report claims that for the UK servicing the debt costs a mere £43bn, which amounts to the entire defence spending of the UK. The UK collected a forecasted 650 billion in taxation last year, taking 6% of the budget away just to keep Even Steven, so if the UK wants to move forward they need to budget on 90% whilst collecting the 100% forecasted part. It is quite the miracle to make that happen. Now the UK and Germany are doing reasonably well (compared too many other nations), but they too have issues. When we look at Sweden and the Netherlands; that image swifts a lot faster in a downward spiral. Perhaps some will remember the issues Switzerland and their currency had a little over a month ago in my article ‘A seesaw for three‘ on January 18th 2015 (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2015/01/18/a-seesaw-for-three/)

We now see the picture adding up to a lot more hardship, and add to that the refugees:

  1. Germany 571K – 144
  2. France 210K – 310
  3. United Kingdom – 194K – 319
  4. Sweden – 86K – 106
  5. Netherlands – 75K – 222
  6. Switzerland – 50K – 154

Now the view is almost complete. So for Germany we see 571,000 refugees, which means one refugee per 144 non refugees. The 144 pay for the way of one refugee. We could think that this is easy, but now consider that taxation is down, so the required money is not getting in (for various reasons). Now we see the problem, how can any government continue to support a sliding scale? This is not about fairness, because it is not fair on the refugee. I will be on the first line stating this, but when the bills are due, fairness will no longer be a factor. If we want to resolve the refugee solution, so that we all can continue giving them a future, something must give way. We can hope for a much better economy, but that is a ludicrous fantasy, even if the economy suddenly upgrades by 15%, these nations will still be hurt by the overspending and the consequential bills that became the headache for well over a decade.

So in my view we either change the way the refugee issues are addressed, or soon thereafter Australia will not be the only one sending back refugees, with the consequential nightmare that such actions will bring.

So as I contemplate the words of Juan Mendez, I wonder if Mr Mendez has considered the dangers of true torture when funds run truly dry on a near global basis. We all need to look at how it can be made better as we all should consider such steps, but in addition, no one seems to be looking at the cost of it all, yet the pressures of the rising costs of helping refugees getting a future are not being addressed in this economy, why not?

 

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