Tag Archives: UAE

Vindaloo on the side

It started two days ago. I honestly do not remember who the source was, but it stuck in the back of my mind. It also stuck how the large media trivialised (BBC excepted) the matters at hand. So I decided to take a gander. I first stopped at Arab News who gave us (at https://www.arabnews.com/node/2097311/saudi-arabia) ‘Saudi Arabia, other Gulf states and Muslim institutions denounce Indian official’s insults against Prophet Muhammad’, so not the western news, not the Italian daily prophet (Vatican News), no merely the Gulf States and Islamic Institutions. So as we are given “Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries and Muslim institutions on Sunday condemned the remarks against Prophet Muhammad by a top official in India’s ruling party, with some demanding concrete action to end such acts of Islamophobia.” So whilst the Washington Post gives us “Sumit Ganguly, a professor of political science at Indiana University gives us “At home, a lynching takes place and Modi remains deafeningly silent. Now, he feels compelled to act because he realises the damage abroad could be extensive. When it comes to foreign policy, the stakes are high.”” Yes and there is the problem, an act merely because the international stakes are too high. It is time to get to part 2, that is the part given to us by the BBC (at https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-61701908) where we see ‘Nupur Sharma: Prophet Muhammad row deepens India’s diplomatic woes’, and the power is given to us by “Ms Sharma’s – angered the country’s minority Muslim community, leading to sporadic protests in some states. The BBC is not repeating Ms Sharma’s remarks as they are offensive in nature”, the statement was SO offensive, to the degree that the BBC will not comment by quoting the statement. What we do see is “Analysts say that the top leadership of the party and the government may have to make public statements on the issue. Not doing so, they say, runs the risk of damaging India’s ties with the Arab world and Iran.” As I personally see it India has pissed off Iran, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia all at the same time, a decent achievement if I do say so myself. And the setting of this is not whether thee are acts, the acts are too slow in a nation that has had its long term issues with Muslim communities. The lack of direct action against discrimination. I am a little on the fence. If others (christians) have to adhere to Muslim rules in Saudi Arabia, there would be the setting that Muslims have to adhere to India’s (Hindu) rules. But to allow blatant insults against ones religion is a dangerous step, not merely national, yet in this there is the international stage too and as I personally see it the (far too) slow reactions by its Indian government and Narendra Modi will have (or is that should have) repercussions and not merely in India. It is NDTV (New Delhi Television) gives an interesting view. They give us ‘PM Modi, The Djinn Is Out Of The Bottle And Out Of Control’ it shows that there is way too much support for the discriminatory views of Nupur Sharma, lets not forget here that she was until recently the spokesperson of the BJP, as such, how did she get there?

The Islamic community might be forced to dump all Indian goods and services and this now gives a massive handle to the US and the EU. If they get the $15,000,000,000 of crude oil that usually goes to India its nation will face a massive recession. India lives on cars, petrol and a mobile industry. If even over 25% falls away the Indian government will face a situation they never faced before, not to this degree. A setting where India faces more hardship as it deals in oil with Iran and Russia or see the average quality of life in India fall for well over 20%, how much it falls? I honestly cannot tell and my 20% might be overly optimistic. 

So even as the BBC gives us “Experts said the controversy could overshadow some of India’s recent diplomatic successes with the UAE and other nations.” I reckon it is nothing compared to the internal mess that could happen when the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia decides to move the oil tap from India to the US and Europe. Their worries will be over to a much larger degree, but at that point it will suck to be in India. When 300 million cars can no longer run because fuel prices went from 96.35 ₹/L to 396.50 ₹/L that is when panic and utter chaos will rule India and I reckon Pakistan will not be overly upset about that setting either. As such the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Narendra Modi will need another option, another direction and it seems to me that they re stuck in the mud with no one around to help them. Some will state that it was her right to speak, but is open discrimination a right? Nupur Sharma might have started something that she was unable to contain or adjust for and we will see what happens next because something has to give in this equation and your guess is just as good as mine. There is too much I do not know on the interactions in India, but I do know that tapping a tiger on the balls was not the way to go, especially if there is no fence separating the tiger from the tapper, but that might just be me.

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An apolitical setting

That is where I find myself. It comes from the BBC with the article ‘Ukraine anger as Macron says ‘Don’t humiliate Russia’’ (at https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-61691816). I see the dangers, I see the anger and I see the fears. We are given “Ukraine’s foreign minister has hit out at French President Emmanuel Macron after he said it was vital that Russia was not humiliated over its invasion”, we are also given “Mr Macron has repeatedly spoken to Mr Putin by phone in an effort to broker a ceasefire and negotiations. The French attempts to maintain a dialogue with the Kremlin leader contrast with the US and UK positions.” Now we all feel that Russia needs to lose and the Ukraine has (for the most) clearly shown that, but the defeat needs to be worse than that. I am for the most on the side of the US and UK. Yet there is visible wisdom on the side of France. You see Russia might still at some point embrace ‘In for a penny, in for a pound’ and that is the danger setting. You see, if that pound is nuclear driven there is every chance that life in France will end, as will it all over Europe, the UK and the US. But for France the cost is larger. The top exports from France will be gone forever. It will start with end of the cheese and wine clubs. This might be seem trivial, but consider that this stage will end for ALL ETERNITY French wines and French cheeses. Yes, Sweden has good cheese, Wisconsin has good cheeses, as does the Netherlands. Good wines are allegedly found in California, they are found in Italy, Greece and South Australia as well as in New Zealand. Should this go South, it will no longer be available from France. So I get the stance of France. 

If we believe that the players could be swayed by political settings, keeping one open seems imperative. Yet the setting that defeat needs to be more pronounced is also essential. I feel that it is important that after September 30th it will no longer be allowed for Russians to hold property and/or businesses outside of Russia. They cannot have anything to say in non-Russian nations. When you consider the Russian billionaires in the field and their fortunes will be destined by yachting between Dubai and Russian territory their lust for life will diminish. The family of Russians  will not be allowed schooling and life outside of Russia. When this setting is seen over generations, we see the unrest that Russia faces. It will be a situation that goes far beyond Moscow on the Hudson. As such I to a point support the setting that President Macron sets with “Mr Macron told French regional media that Russia’s leader had “isolated himself”.

“I think, and I told him, that he made a historic and fundamental error for his people, for himself and for history,” he said. “Isolating oneself is one thing, but being able to get out of it is a difficult path,” he added. Italy’s Prime Minister Mario Draghi has aligned himself with Mr Macron, suggesting Europe wants “some credible negotiations”.” Yet I do believe that there will be the essential need for a larger cost to the Russian people. I have had some issues with the economic assault on people like Roman Abramovich, but the time has passed and they have (for the most) not spoken out loudly enough against the acts of the Russian state, its acts in Ukraine and it gets to be worse. The recent burning down of the All Saints Skete of the Holy Dormition Sviatohirsk Lavra in the city of Sviatohirsk, Donetsk region is merely one of the most visible settings and there needs to be a price to pay for all Russians. So to some degree I side with President Macron, but that setting is not sailing when we give a pass to certain people after the war. That much WW2 has shown us a little too clearly. So whatever comes next, Russia needs to realise that the invoice is due and it will be staggeringly high, higher than the one Germany was given on 28 June 1919 in Versailles. We can flicker over the treaty required that Germany pay financial reparations, disarm, lose territory, and give up all of its overseas colonies. We can also look at the simple setting that in that same treaty they were given the limitations of

  • The German army was limited to 100,000 men.
  • Conscription (forced army service) was banned; soldiers had to be volunteers.
  • Germany was not allowed armoured vehicles, submarines or aircraft.
  • The navy could build only six battleships.
  • The Rhineland became a demilitarised zone.

In Russian terms it means that they will be limited to protecting the China-Russia border, because the setting will play after this one. And controlling that much area with 6 ships? Good luck with that idea. Optionally only 5 as they lost another one in the Ukraine. As such I reckon that the Russian oligarchs will sell whatever they have and quietly live out their days in places like Dubai. It is not a given, merely a speculation.

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Blackmail as premeditation

These is a side to everything. Peace, War and everything in-between is in the eye of the beholder, in the wake of political needs some will say, but that too is a side of a mere point of view. So when I saw the Bloomberg article (at https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-04-28/manchester-city-s-owner-helps-usher-more-russian-tycoons-to-uae) titled ‘Manchester City’s Owner Helps Usher More Russian Tycoons to UAE’ we see the side that many shy away from. It starts with “Sheikh Mansour also has a behind-the-scenes role that’s become increasingly important in recent months: Helping manage relationships with wealthy Russians looking to move money into the UAE, according to several people familiar with Abu Dhabi’s engagement with Russians, who requested anonymity as the information isn’t public.” With the added “Even as the U.S., EU and other countries have blitzed Russia with thousands of new financial restrictions, making it the world’s most-sanctioned nation, the UAE hasn’t imposed any. Officials in the Middle Eastern nation have taken the stance that Abu Dhabi respects international law but isn’t required to follow measures implemented by specific countries and that the UAE has the right to adopt its own policies, several people familiar with their thinking said.” It is supported by “That approach, though, has fuelled concern among some Western officials who are worried about holes in their own sanctions programs. Earlier this month, Deputy U.S. Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo voiced Washington’s worries about Russian tycoons moving assets to the UAE in a call with UAE officials, two people with knowledge of the discussions said”. You see, the setting is even more different from what we see. You see, some places cannot be touched, some ships are unattainable and other material matters cannot be touched as the owners identities are hidden from view. There are two parts in all this. 

In the first there is the matter of his highness Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan. He is from the UAE, he does what is best for the UAE, a Emiratian as it were (is that the right pronunciation?) The larger setting is not what he does, it is that there is no war with Russia in the UAE, more important, the blackmail grip on these oligarchs is not entirely legal. Lets look at the clear evidence. These oligarchs are Russians, they therefor embraced friendships with the ruler of that place (Vladimir Putin), this was never a crime. Then the Ukrainian issues started and the oligarchs were split in two teams (as Roman Arkadyevich Abramovich most likely would say) those who openly support Putin and those who do not. Take Roman Arkadyevich Abramovich he is also a philanthropist and the former owned of Chelsea FC (they might be the same). So are the acts against him valid? Consider what he did in the BEGINNING of the war. It casts a shadow over the acts against the oligarchs. And the demented statement by President Biden “We’re going to seize their yachts, their luxury homes, and other ill-begotten gains”, really? What laws were broken, what prosecution was not correctly made? I do not care either way, but there are laws and yes, Russia has to pay for EVERY kopek of damage that they created in Ukraine. But should the oligarchs? Perhaps those in Russia, but those abroad? Those who openly supported Putin’s war in Ukraine perhaps, the rest? I feel uncertain. 

And when we reconsider “some Western officials who are worried about holes in their own sanctions programs” we see the folly of their taxation laws, the holes are large enough to park a 500 feet yacht in. Failure after failure and the entire emotional setting does not help any, mainly because the emotional setting is not a legal one and now we see that Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan has a case to present to his nation. And if this works the UAE will see another wave of long term investments. Long after the US is deserted by too many players, the UAE will hold on. Is it fair? Fair does not come into it. These oligarchs are not involved in a war, they are not involved in bombing the Ukraine. That is the Russian government, the Russian army, navy and airforce. If an oligarch is part of those, then yes, he (or she) become fair game. And should the American government object, then perhaps they can pull the papers on a place called IG Farben and certain people that were given options in the US. So how come that BASF and Siemens were allowed to continue AFTER WW2? Did they not have factories in Auschwitz? As I see it, the US does not have a billionaire problem, it has a hypocrisy problem and the refusal to overhaul tax laws is pretty much a top 3 item in American economy. As I personally see it Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan found a way to propel his nation (as a citizen), is he to blame? I do not believe that he is. Yes, some people and a lot of Ukrainians have an issue with that and I accept that the Ukrainians are not happy, they have every right to be, but laws are laws and there is a dangerous line that the west is trying to avoid. It is a dangerous line as it leads to WW3 and these nations are either fully committed or they are not. I cannot judge here, because war is a dangerous play, a World War even more so and there could be nuclear repercussions, we need to accept that and that is the red line that a lot of nations are trying to avoid. It makes perfect sense. If there is on upside to all this (the UAE) it will be that the harbour that they hand the oligarchs is also the roof that stops them from becoming a nuclear target. It could be seen by some as premeditated blackmail. Can we blame them, or blame anyone for having that thought? The UAE must do what is best for the UAE and as I see it, that is exactly what Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan seems to be doing.

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The simplicity of a label

That is at times a setting, not the setting, but an option. You see it is easy to paint all the piggie’s pink, but at that time we end up with all the painted piggies and piglet. Yet is piglet the one we were looking for? That is one of the settings and my issue with ‘No 10 network targeted with spyware, says group’. The article (at https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-61142687) is not entirely wrong. But when I see “The Citizen Lab says it informed officials that suspected Pegasus spyware was discovered in 2020 and 2021, with the Downing Street incident linked to operators in the UAE.” My suspicious mind has questions. Now, I accept that the Citizen Lab has expertise and knowledge, I am not attacking that. It is the statement “The Citizen Lab, which tracks electronic surveillance, said in 2020 and 2021 it notified the UK government that networks belonging to both 10 Downing Street and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office were suspected to have been infected using Pegasus spyware.” You see, ‘suspected’ is all good and well, but were the suspicions properly investigated and confirmed, or is that all it was, a suspicion? And it does not get better when we see “in the UK a number of official phones were tested including those of the prime minister, but it was not possible to establish which device was infected or what – if any data – was taken”, as such there is a suspicion and a lack of confirmation of which device was infected, whether data was captured and what the outcome was. And it does not end there. The statement “the suspected Foreign Office infections were believed to be linked to operators of Pegasus in the United Arab Emirates, India, Cyprus and Jordan.” You see, not only is the method a problem (through lack of evidence), but how in the hell can it be fingered to operators from United Arab Emirates, India, Cyprus or Jordan? Sometimes the simplicity of a label also has the lack of clarity. 

Why Jeeves, why?
It is actually simple. These are a few names: EverC, Sentar, Ignitho, PhishLabs, AppDetex, CyberInt, CareMessage, and Geneca. Eight names, all competitors to the NSO group. They all have ‘their’ solutions, they all have their ways and they might not be as good as the NSO group, but these players are raking in the millions. It is not impossible that they planted NSO materials, or  use a ‘friend’ to infect NSO guided options to lead the trail away. All speculation and none may be true or factual, I accept that. Yet the article gives us nothing but suspicions, no facts, no evidence and it is all given weight by “linked to an investigation by the New Yorker magazine which looked at the targeting of individuals campaigning for Catalan independence from Spain”, so what does the New Yorker magazine have and how do the two matters connect (if they connect at all). Consider the price of an NSO infection (it is enough to buy a 2022 Ford Mustang 5.0L Fastback, shadow black) and as people tend to rate cars higher than any Catalan interest, the list of interested people grows short really fast, the sliver thin comparison makes me suspicious even more. And to complete matters “The Citizen Lab said it believed the Downing Street suspected infection was linked to the United Arab Emirates.” So not only is there no evidence that an infection took place, they have a suspect too?

All half way statements, all half baked evidence and the lack of evidence that shows some clarity. All whilst I found 8 options at the drop of a hat. And I can tell you right now. I have no evidence of ANY kind. Yet the writings of some lack evidence too. So what makes the press so hungry for alleged illumination of the NSO group and the UAE all whilst there is no clear evidence? 

Questions should be asked, but I believe that additional questions should be asked of people who have been linking certain events with the near total lack of evidence. And it matters, because if we see the allegations that No.10 network is infected (which would be interesting to ANY party with non-UK or anti-UK needs). So there is a drastic need for the minions of Ken McCallum to wake up and find out what is going on. It might be essential to get the GCHQ goblins active as well, it is a digital issue so GCHQ gets to be connected to this. 

Yet none of the parties have clear evidence and no one can prove that it was not a competitor, there are larger plays in actions and they cannot be identified with piggy pink. Yet the station is optionally served by paint and finding WHERE it leads could be beneficial, but that is merely my thought on the matter. So far the media I have seen tells me little and the accusations and links are a little too shoddy to my liking.

It stands to reason to state that I do not completely trust the BBC article, thee is nothing wrong there, but too little of it is right and does not sit well with me, but that is just me, and I do not trust anyone, a habit of the beast and thorough knowledge on knowing that the beast is a self serving entity in all this, it always has been.

 

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The three day delay

Yes, it is not new, I had my go on this a few times, yet due to what we see now, after three days, it is time to renew this event. It started basically in 2014, the Yemen war became something serious and the west had no idea how to react. They reacted poorly and to make matters worse, events driven by Iran was kept out of the news. The people got a one sided story. Over time weapons sales went stale, were blocked and the defence of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was a setting of debate by people who had no clue what was going on, because the ego trippers needed their Iran peace accord through a nuclear deal, something that even now is still not done. Matters became worse when the west decided to spin the events around Jamal Khashoggi in October 2018. So even as the press al invoked “By 16 November 2018, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) had concluded that Mohammed bin Salman ordered Khashoggi’s assassination.” In this that the CIA stated that is was highly likely that this had happened, but no evidence was EVER brought to light. No evidence that could survive the rigours of academic investigations. The essay by the United Nations did not help any, that is for certain. Then we get the hack of Jeff Bezos, a disgracefully inadequate report by FTI Consulting. It is important to take notice of the Verge (at https://www.theverge.com/2020/1/23/21078828/report-saudi-arabia-hack-jeff-bezos-phone-fti-consulting) that also gives us “Facebook’s former chief security officer Alex Stamos, for example, said that there was “no smoking gun” in the report. Some researchers said that FTI should have been able to analyze the encrypted file that the crown prince sent Bezos which reportedly hacked his phone. And one said he didn’t see evidence in the report to suggest that Bezos’ phone was hacked.” I believe that Jeff got hacked, but there is no clear evidence WHO did the job, but there were some wannabe reporters that were really happy to blame the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia. Even though several newspapers earlier that week showed that certain hacks allowed people to pretend they were someone else, and that too is missing from the FTI report. 

So we have all these negativity, projected on the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia and now the US wants a favour? You have got to be shitting me!

So we get back to the article where we see “Why should America’s regional allies help Washington contain Russia in Europe when Washington is strengthening Russia and Iran in the Middle East?” And this is the larger folly, a stage where the wrong people cater to Iran, all whilst they require other stuff too, but you cannot get it both ways and now that China is stepping in gobbling up billions upon billions in sales and services, we see the US in a stage of denial. They now need cheap oil, all whilst the two largest suppliers are set to the mind that premium prices will do just as well. And I warned for these situations for years, but everyone was in denial. It would never come to that and now that it is coming to that, the US, the EU and others are in denial on what is required. So at present the oil prices are on the rise, just for how long is impossible to say, yet we also acknowledge that reserves are being used to stop the rise. Just how long until that stops? What do you think will happen when the reserves are gone, because most nations do not have that much in reserve. They can avoid the winter this year, but that will drain the reserves and even as they can build up some of those reserves during summer, winter 2022 will show to be the year that people will need to choose, be warm, avoid hunger and pay rent/mortgage and there is every consideration that many households will only be able to do one of the three, two if they are lucky. 

That is the direct impact of catering to the populist view, the price of adjusting one view for another, one deciding on what was likely, not what could be proven, ignoring what was proven (Iran attacks) and catering to something that is still not a reality (Iranian nuclear agreement) and Iran has clearly been catered to and now the kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the UAE are telling you all that enough is enough. You want oil at a premium, you got it and at a premium means that within the next 12-15 weeks oil prices might get back to the $130 marker, at that point, how much will it cost you to get groceries, to get to work, to get home and to refuel? All that whilst these two nations are now looking at China to deliver defence systems. Slap upon slap upon slap and now 19 hours ago we were given ‘Iran Says U.S. Is Responsible for Stalled Talks on Reviving Nuclear Deal’, another fiasco and the involved political players are all in hiding as not to get painted with that fiasco. So when you wonder what happened to the oil prices, it is simple. Your government royally screwed up and gave you the bill for their failure. 

So good luck with that.

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Obsessed with doubt

We all have that at times, doubt comes in and does not leave. Sometimes it does not matter, trivial settings, unimportant settings and settings we do not care about. Then we get the important settings, the ones we care bout, we are passionate about, even if it is in the second degree. In some cases we can program around it if it is our own design (like IP) sometimes we cannot and it gets to us, because we would want to know. If it matters on a larger scale and I have been stumped on a few matters. The circle completed when something passed my eyes that was unrelated. The parts just clicked and for anyone that is a different path and a different way of resolving. We all have our tools and methods to deal with doubt. 

The resolving part
Around 4 hours ago (at https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-60843262) we are given ‘Evan Neumann: US Capitol riot suspect gets asylum in Belarus’, so one of the man connected to the Trump Tantrum in the US Capitol on January 6th 2021. He got asylum in Belarus, one of Russia’s tools. The man could have gone to China, the Russian Federation, Namibia, the United Arab Emirates, North Korea, Bahrain, Belarus, chunks of the Middle East, chunks of Africa and a few other places. This man went to the place that directly supports Russia and their Campaign, so why is that? The entire BBC article reads like a lie, which is not on the BBC. Yet when I see ““I do not believe that I have committed any crime,” he said. “One of the accusations was very upsetting. It is alleged that I hit a police officer. That is baseless.”” I wonder how stupid this all sounds and how on earth the Republican Party keeps on protecting in what I personally see is a loser who keeps on running to court ‘Trump files appeal against Manhattan judge in latest bid to overturn subpoena’ and the American people do not catch on? How stupid can people get? 

An earlier stage
In the earlier stage we see (at https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/1/9/saudi-arabia-may-run-out-of-interceptor-missiles-in-months-ft) a stage weeks ago when we are given “The situation represents the latest test for US-Saudi relations, which President Joe Biden’s administration has sought to reshape in light of the October 2018 murder of Saudi dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi operatives in Istanbul.” The stronger language that followed was an American sign to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Which in light of ‘US sends Patriot interceptors to Saudi to ease tensions’ (at https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/3/21/us-sends-patriot-interceptors-to-saudi-to-ease-tensions-reports) 8 weeks later seems odd, well not if you take into consideration oil prices. Which as I mentioned in earlier articles aligns with biting the hand that feeds you. And the mention of “Riyadh has also voiced anger over the Biden administration’s decision to remove the Houthi movement from its list of “international terrorist organisations”, although Washington in recent months has mulled reversing the decision following a series of drone and missile attacks on the United Arab Emirates (UAE)” does not help the US of A, especially as the mention of Iran is slimmer than slim. The absence of simple investigations like How could Houthi forces manufacture these drones is blatantly absent, Iran is deeper involved and denying that any longer is no less than an absolute insult, but the media does not seem to think that matters, the US and the EU do not seem to think that matters. They still believe that a deal is possible all whilst that was never was a deal in the making. Iran is simply watching how the Russia setting plays out to see if there is a weaker deal to be made, and the stage is not done playing. 

Even earlier we saw
It all came after the story (at https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/3/21/ukraine-war-exposes-cracks-us-ties-middle-east-allies) giving us ‘Russia-Ukraine war shows cracks in US ties to Middle East allies’, I had issues here. Russia is part of OPEC, as such they have the table in places. The US wants Saudi Arabia and the UAE to take stands, but why should they? It is not THEIR war, it might become so, but for now it is not and if people have an issue with that, talk to Syrians and Yemeni’s who have been waiting for the US and the EU to make moves for years. Inactivity is not so much fun when you need and answer is it? So when we are given ““Al-Assad coming to the UAE, shortly after the Gulf Arab country voted to abstain from a UN Security Council resolution condemning the Russian invasion of Ukraine last month, tells us that the Emiratis are very serious about asserting their autonomy from the United States,” said Giorgio Cafiero, CEO of Gulf State Analytics, a Washington, DC-based geopolitical risk consultancy.” We can accept the line “the Emiratis are very serious about asserting their autonomy from the United States”, I am not convinced that this is the real reason. The plays give us that these nations are making the plays that do not box them in and Syria is a larger player and it makes sense that the UAE will have questions that no one would set to a simple call, a face to face meeting between two heads of state makes sense. I agree that there are cracks, yet that stage was set by the US, and it was done on a collection of moves, all populist actions and they are now biting the current administration and the current administration made several of these moves.

Yet these are the thoughts as I ended up with and they have doubts here, they do and I admit this. Yet the media is no longer a reliable source and I feel uncertain who will give us the truth not the political play and it involves the media and the United Nations. But what do you do when the sources are a source of doubt? It is not a puzzle, it is a question, I have some ideas but for now they are mine to have and you need to find yours. 

For me the situation is simplified. If there is too much doubt in one direction, see what truths another direction can give you and this is not a simple matter, some give credence to sources when others see debatability in those sources. And with me doubt is an obsession, I need to take doubt apart piece by piece and see what cogs are getting hindered, that is how I roll. You might have different methods. We all have our ways.

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A social direction

This happens, in all the stupidity, the harshness and the fatalities of war, we look in other directions, we look for the good in places, in people, in foods and in entertainment. Our bodies and our souls can only take so much negativity until we start seeking out positivity in any way we can. This is pretty much on all of us. The problem for some is that they CANNOT avoid the negativity. Through war, through social issues, through personal issues. It is a clambake of barriers that we set up and that keep us in place. We all have these moments and these time stages. We can try to avoid them, but the negativity draws in, just like positivity when it happens. So there I was sitting on the couch watching Blindspot season 4 on dvd when I saw ‘Saudi Arabia ranks 25th in UN World Happiness Report’ (at https://www.arabnews.com/node/2045881/saudi-arabia). Of all the things I expected to see, that was not one of them. To be honest  I have no idea where they were, but they moved up one step from 26 in a year. The full report (at https://happiness-report.s3.amazonaws.com/2021/WHR+22.pdf) gives us more. You see the numbers show that they are one place behind the UAE and both are really close to the scores of France, Belgium, UK and US. Yet there is also the setting that Arab News gives us “The report has been based on two key ideas: That happiness or life evaluation can be measured through opinion surveys, and that we can identify key determinants of well-being and thereby explain the patterns of life evaluation across countries,” That is a little more than I bargained for. I am not disputing the approach but how many people? The PDF does give us that. 156 countries and 1853 observations (per nation I guess). Yet if that is the case and we know Saudi Arabia has 35 million people, we might see that stage. Yet Belgium has 12 million people and the US has 330 million people, so how is there a stage of equality? How can 1853 people be a genuine stage for happiness in the US? How is the stage of opinions towards regression become a scale of happiness? How were these numbers created? Technical box 2 gives us more (page 20), but there is a larger issue. We see 2017 World Development Indicators (WDI) that came BEFORE covid. They use GDP time series from the OECD economic outlook no. 110 (edition December 2021) with the added ‘or if missing’ and there the problem lies. Statistical result connected to other statistical results. I once learned (1992) that this is a really wrong setting to work from. Apart from the stage that it could be based on very different people, there were different economic boundaries and other issues in play. But overall it took me three minutes to combine data into questions and reservations on this report. It is nice to see all these happy people pictures, but it is window dressing, and it makes me more apprehensive of the report then less. There is a feeling of orchestration. The image of a man wearing an ‘offline hustler’ t-shirt with the small caption of ‘every move won’t be posted’, it merely brings out the negativity in me. And it is ‘consistency of emotion changes across countries in the 5 weeks after the outbreak’, you see what date was used for the 5 week stage? December in China? When? It matters because covid hit us at different times, there seems to be no real explanation there. So how was Twitter used for these 1853 people? Is twitter separate, how many twitter observations per nation? The list goes on and grows. Still, it is an impressive piece of work, if there was a way to get better and more complete explanations it could work. But I hesitate when page 144 gives me “we approached the analyses by 2 interlinked hypotheses. (1) balance/harmony matter to all people; and (2) balance/harmony are dynamics at the heart of well-being. As we have seen, both hypotheses were corroborated to some extent” Really? 1853 observations out of 330 million Americans? How does that show any level of corroboration? 

The more of the report I saw, the more questions I ended up with. I wonder who else have a serious set of questions and I wonder when the media will ask Gallup more questions, Personally I doubt they will ever bother.

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Ding, ding, prices are going up

After I wrote ‘A symphony in only two parts?’ (At https://lawlordtobe.com/2022/03/16/a-symphony-in-only-two-parts/) two articles appeared (might have been more, but these two lighted up). The first one is from a place called oilprice dot com. The article (at https://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/Saudi-Arabia-Considers-Ditching-The-Dollar-For-Chinese-Oil-Sales.html) gives us ‘Saudi Arabia Considers Ditching The Dollar For Chinese Oil Sales’ with the added “According to the report, the talks with China over yuan-priced oil contracts have been off and on for six years but have accelerated this year as the Saudis have grown increasingly unhappy with decades-old U.S. security commitments to defend the kingdom.” OK, that is fine, but I reckon the way Crown prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud has been treated by some will not have helped. Moreover if China sets the barricades of pushing forward and aiding SAMI in getting the internal growth desired these pushes might come to fruition. We are also given “China buys more than 25% of the oil that Saudi Arabia exports, and if priced in yuan, those sales would boost the standing of China’s currency, and set the Chinese currency on a path to becoming a global petroyuan reserve currency.” I feel uncertain to answer that part, but consider that there is a limit to oil, consider that China will request not the 25% they get now, but 30%, with an overcapacity of amount X, now consider that Saudi Arabia (ARAMCO) does that and therefor the US (and west) will now receive 5% minus X less. Prices will skyrocket. More importantly in the last hours we saw ‘Boris Johnson Visits U.A.E., Saudi Arabia, Seeking More Oil’ and here too we see the British PM go home without any commitments, CNN even gives us ‘Biden demands faster drop in gas prices as oil tumbles’, so where is he going to demand that from? Russia? Venezuela? UAE? Saudi Arabia? The man who was desperately outspoken about making Crown prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud a pariah is now telling that same person to drop prices? Man does karma suck and then some? We see the stage of painful karma in article one, but why article two? That is seen as we contemplate the title ‘Saudi Arabia’s Oil-For-Yuan Bid Won’t Threaten the Dollar’ (at https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2022-03-16/saudi-arabia-s-oil-for-yuan-proposal-won-t-threaten-the-dollar) it is a good and decent piece, but an opinion piece none the less. There we get “Is there a situation more absurd than two of the world’s most dollar-dependent economies promising to free themselves from the exorbitant burden of the dollar?” I believe that a few gaps are there. This is no longer a ‘too big too fail’ market. The US has a debt surpassing $30,000,000,000,000 and that debt is growing by billions a day. In addition in this economy that is picking itself up fuel prices could (could being the operative word) go up by 20% before October and then winter comes. You all watched the income of dreaded winter in Game of Thrones, now you get to see it in your neighbourhood (if you are north enough to see it for yourself). So the quote “it’s inevitable that the perennial chatter about the yuan challenging the dollar’s status as the world’s reserve currency should be revived. Such talk has always been fanciful — but it’s even more unlikely right now.” The man is not incorrect, but these talks have been going on for 6 years and in that time the largest one has surpassed a point of no return point in debts, and number two and three (EU and Japan) are not that far behind, they will take extensive damage if the dollar topples. Yes, we all here that noise “It will never happen” but really? How much debt will that take and when it happens, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will have to do whatever is best for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The writer then gives us “The yuan punches far below its weight in terms of foreign exchange transactions, and the dollar punches above its weight” which to some degree gives us that Saudi Arabia might consider it and when the oil shortages start adding up, that move of Saudi Arabia solidifying longer and stronger walls with China the stage is partially set. Life in the US and EU will become unbearably hard. Even now Japan is trying to set up new stimulus packages and we saw how great that was for the EU, trillions in added debt and no restarted economy. Ad there is a direct link in support between the US, EU and Japan. So when these support structures collapse we see a sort of house of cards impact and that affects the global economy, no matter how you want to present that picture. Consider the simple stage of California. In Los Angeles fuel costs $5.876, now consider adding 20% to that, all whilst life in Los Angeles (all over California) is as expensive as it ever was. With the shortage of drivers and deliveries that market will sure to set a few more stages. In 11 districts in California fuel prices are (presently) the highest ever, so add 20% to that? You think it is impossible? Think again. The Middle East has given NO guarantees that there will be more fuel, it basically has no interest to do that, or to lower prices and around the corner is China enjoying the commercial stage the US (EU too) pushed themselves in and they get to direct the fallout of that setting. 

Now, there needs the be a clear message. “I could be wrong” an educated guess remains a guess, yet what I found is coming from decent sources and because the writers do not want to look into the dark corner does not mean that dark corner goes away, it merely means that whatever comes from there will come less expected and hits the people squarely on the jaw. And the setting that we see now has been growing month after month for about 2-3 years. So the people in that corner WANT this to happen. Like myself they are hoping for that fat bonus and some of them have received guarantees (I did not) So the people pushing this have an interest to push this. I do not care that much unless the 3.75% bonus comes my way. At that point I would state ‘Push all you want’ because that too is the result of a commerce based world and now the inhumane setting of that becomes clear. The US never cared when they got to call the shots, but that is now no longer the case is it? So when we see a president giving CNN ‘Biden demands faster drop in gas prices as oil tumbles’, they seemingly forget that oil prices were dropping when there was still supply at a higher price and there is a decent chance that these prices will go back up before those reserves are completely gone. And when they are gone oil volatility will hit American households all over (EU too). The dream of every family it own car will be to live in a stage of perpetual work at home because the people cannot afford to go to the office and then reality comes calling double quick. So perhaps yes, I do hope I get my bonus, if only to retire with a will to live and I am not alone in that setting. There are millions like me all over the world. 

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A symphony in only two parts?

That is the question at times. We see two events, two articles and we forget that there are a dozen other connections. I am not different, at times I overlook them too, not always but frequently. It is a mix of a larger stage, more connections, more unregistered events. Yet for now we start with the first nail in the coffin of American economy. The article from Reuters (at https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/saudi-arabia-invites-chinas-xi-visit-wsj-2022-03-14/) gives us ‘Saudi Arabia invites China’s Xi to visit’, the article states that this could be as early as may. Right before the Midterms in November 2022 the US is now likely to face that dozens upon dozens of billions walk from the US side straight into the hands of China (and me missing out on commission, darn). Is this a given? No, of course not. There could be a dozen reasons why President Xi Jinping might be visiting. But how often has ANY Chinese president done that? And Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud is eager to set his defence and SAMI to higher values and I was clear in the two years that this was coming and as far as I can tell, President Biden has soured the waters enough for this to become a reality. Some focusses on weapons being sold, I say in THIS economy you should not ignore the nations Saudi Arabia, India, Egypt, who are the largest importers. In this stage where the US HELD 37% and China only 5.2% the stage is now set where China can progress a lot higher on that list and should they get the bulk of Saudi and SAMI attention there is a clear stage where the new numbers will represent (2023/2024) could state that the US hold 25% and China then could be holding 17.2%, it then places China right next to Russian exports and the US a lot more to that stage, a stage where it is now an almost fair fight between the US, Russia and China, but to be clear was that EVER an economic stage where you WANT a fair fight? A stage where China overtakes both France and Germany as supplier? This is the stage that could inhabit the Middle East and that is merely the beginning. You see the partnerships that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Egypt have also sets Egypt in the sights of China as a defence trade partner, a stage a few people overlooked and that drives Chinese export achievable needs up a lot more. So the damage to the US might increase over the coming year and those who want to be in denial, go right ahead, the article with ““The crown prince and Xi are close friends and both understand that there is huge potential for stronger ties,” the report quoted a Saudi official as saying. “It is not just ‘They buy oil from us and we buy weapons from them’.”” I like the part “It is not just ‘They buy oil from us and we buy weapons from them’” the best, it might not be merely just, for China that is a good deal in several ways and when that deal gives China more oil, it will mean that it gives the US less oil a stage they feared for some time and the oil market has been volatile on these fears alone. So when I was mentioning that whatever relief the oil prices give us today, tomorrow will be different and now we see that fear come to fruition, not immediately mind you, but the price of fuel will go up again and again, how high? I cannot tell but the stage where we saw the American administration make statements like “You can pump more oil, so pump more oil!”, it was nice but there is now every chance that the extra oil (plus a little more) goes to China. Will the UAE do the same? I cannot tell, but the US better become best buddies with Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Sheikh Mohammed ibn Rashid Al Maktoum, because if I see this right, the US will need every friend it can muster in their oil needs (a few others too) and in that need they better realise that catering to Iran will not merely be unrewarding, it will soon become dangerous on more than one field as well. I mentioned two years ago that yielding the Middle East to China would be one of the most dangerous things ever, and that was merely economically. Now we see one field exposed and the construction opportunities in Neom could also go towards China, a stage that makes the US (EU too) more and more irrelevant, a stage the US themselves threw upon their own economic needs. Now that it is becoming more and more realistic these people will not be allowed to cry with the “Why oh why” statement like little chihuahua’s. Or as my grandmother used to say “You do not bite the hand that feeds you” a practical lesson that the US will now face within the next 3 months and the 2 years that follow. A stage that the Biden Administration failed to spot in some stage of ignorance and now as we see it optionally unfold (it might be that President Xi Jinping is visiting to buy real estate in Neom) some might see the dangers that are coming the next year or so and the impact over the next decade. I merely loose out on commission (oh, poor poor me). 

 

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Where are we heading?

That is the stage we comment on and most comment on events in Europe, most would and that is not bad. But something happened in Lebanon that got my attention (something is always happening there). You see, many might have noticed ‘UAE set to be put on money laundering watchdog’s ‘grey list,’ report says’ (source: CNBC), we are given quotes like “The Financial Action Task Force, an intergovernmental organisation dedicated to combatting money laundering and illicit cash flows, is set to put the United Arab Emirates on its “grey list” over concerns that the Gulf country isn’t sufficiently stemming illegal financial activities”, now I am not debating it, it might be true, it might not. I cannot lay claims to events I have no data on. But whilst we see that, Reuters also gives us (at https://www.reuters.com/business/finance/lebanese-bank-closes-over-30-british-held-accounts-after-uk-ruling-depositors-2022-03-04/) ‘Lebanese bank closes over 30 British-held accounts after UK ruling-depositors’ group’. There we see “A Bank Audi official told Reuters the bank was “asking that the UK residents apply the terms applicable to anyone opening a new account: no international transfers, no cash withdrawals””, so just to help me out. You create a bank account and you are not allowed to withdraw cash? How does that make the bank a bank? And we also get “More than $100 billion remains stuck in a banking system paralysed since 2019, when the economy collapsed due to decades of unsustainable state spending, corruption and waste”, as such my question becomes what on earth is the Financial Action Task Force doing monitoring banks? First Credit Suisse, through state sponsored hacking and now we see Bank Audi. Two elements showing a massive cash stage running into the hundreds of billions. So what the hell is the Financial Action Task Force doing? Why are they not investigating banks? We see the mention of Switzerland, the United Arab Emirates, the mention of nations, not banks. Banks are seemingly flying below the radar and we see an alleged flaccid response from action groups. Oh and it would be nice to see specifics. Not some journo’s BS approach towards emotional garbage. I discussed this in ‘The presumption is mine’ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2022/02/21/the-presumption-is-mine/) where I wrote “so all that space on what amounts to 0.03% of the entire amount. Just like the ICIJ, shortsighted and a waste of time. So we get repeated invitations to explain 0.03% of what is such a massive leak? Is anyone waking up yet?”, now if the FATF did its job and also gives us why the UAE needs to be on a grey list and NOT the bank it becomes a different story, optionally an acceptable one. That same setting applies to Switzerland, home to 242 banks and Credit Suisse. Oh, and before I forget the data leak never explained (it never will) why such harsh methods needs to be applied to the other 242 banks. No one ever asked that question, not other authorities, not the wannabe journalists either. Is that not weird too?

We need to see where we are going and what games certain parties are playing. I saw the Credit Suisse for nothing but a simple fishing expedition. A chumming exercise by the NSA (most likely culprit) to get some of the fish out there. And no one saw that? I am clever, but I am not that clever (compared to self proclaimed clever people), which (as I personally see it) implies orchestration. 

Am I right, am I wrong? I also ask that question from myself. The Switzerland setting alerted me to weirdness of it all, the UAE draws the setting to the surface. The UAE and its 20 local and 30 foreign banks. Yes that is also the case, so the FATF better come with a very good and very large folder with evidence on a whole range of banks. And before you think the UAE does nothing, we saw a week ago “The government confiscated assets worth $625m last year.” As such I hope that the FATF can prove its setting of “concerns that the Gulf country isn’t sufficiently stemming illegal financial activities” it seems that the UAE has proven activities, so is the FATF merely blowing its own horn? Perhaps it needs to look into the Audi bank and a few other banks too and several of them are not in Switzerland or the UAE. When we see quotes like “About $227.8 million money laundering in USA in 2020 according to our calculation that based 2020 Money Laundering Offense Report”, so how much did the US confiscate? Just asking.

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