Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A Way To Cheap And Plentiful Clean Energy

Is Thorium the way ahead for energy production?  The world economy needs a boost.  So much of the last fifty years has been taken up coping with the problems of fossil fuels, whether that be warfare, inflation, recessions or all three.

As we head into a new slump in employment, and consumption, and the financial bubble blows itself out, what better way to look ahead than to a world in which the traumas of the past are no longer going to be around to haunt us further.

Here is yet another technology which we should have benefited from by now, but which has been blocked by vested interests.  It's time to release Thorium and it can show us what it can do.

EXTRACT - Another decade was lost. It was a sad triumph of vested interests over scientific progress. "We have very little time to waste because the world is running out of fossil fuels. Renewables can’t replace them. Nuclear fusion is not going work for a century, if ever," he said.
The Norwegian group Aker Solutions has bought Dr Rubbia’s patent for the thorium fuel-cycle, and is working on his design for a proton accelerator at its UK operation.
Victoria Ashley, the project manager, said it could lead to a network of pint-sized 600MW reactors that are lodged underground, can supply small grids, and do not require a safety citadel. It will take £2bn to build the first one, and Aker needs £100mn for the next test phase.
The UK has shown little appetite for what it regards as a "huge paradigm shift to a new technology". Too much work and sunk cost has already gone into the next generation of reactors, which have another 60 years of life.
So Aker is looking for tie-ups with the US, Russia, or China. The Indians have their own projects - none yet built - dating from days when they switched to thorium because their weapons programme prompted a uranium ban.
America should have fewer inhibitions than Europe in creating a leapfrog technology. The US allowed its nuclear industry to stagnate after Three Mile Island in 1979.

Monday, August 30, 2010

The Corruption Of Sport Reflects Everything Else

Jessie Owens Defeats German Lunz in Berlin 1936 Games
The Pakistani cricket sting is hardly surprising.  The descent of sport into a massive worldwide business has seen its priorities altered so far that it has been changed out of all recognition.  What started as a way to have fun, has ended up as the fast way to make money.  That has inevitably corrupted the original meaning of all sporting contest, and changed it into something else, a symbol of this age of false debt-based prosperity.

The Tiger Woods scandal is not unrelated.   An aura of impossible perfection has been created around top players.  Their wives have gone from being girls next door, to the best the modelling and music marketplaces can discover, while billions in advertising revenues have swelled their fortunes.  It all had to end in tears.  Human beings were never capable of such 'perfection'.

Football clubs who have paid multi-millions for top players all went bust long ago.  The discovery of mad billionaires willing to carry the indebted burdens that clubs have become seemed the key.  But the only swollen thing has proved to be their egos, with these supposed fortunes often based on massive debt and unwise speculations, which crash and bring their clubs falling down with them.

Only through paid television are sports able to fulfil the financial aspirations of all the stakeholders, who desire their game held high in consumers' priorities.  Yet football is a farce with its woeful refereeing, as in the World Cup, showing that either  referees truly are blind, or they too have some financial involvement in the outcome of games.

Tennis is getting duller by the year, as fast serves make the ball impossible to return.  The service box needs to be made smaller with the arrival of modern rackets, before tennis becomes like a long drawn out penalty shoot-out.  But will anyone be able to do anything about it, in a world where money dictates every little thing that happens?

Sport used to be exceptional because it was above money.  People played for fun, and for honour and pride.  Excessive monetary rewards have removed the best of the human qualities it possessed.  The logical development of emphasising money above all else, is that players will naturally work with betting syndicates to maximise their earnings without conscience.  It's a very sad reflection of our age, where falseness is universal, as the money value has taken over everything we are and are capable of being.  How good it would be to return to a simpler age.

The coming depression will bring many of sport's excesses down to a better level, but the accessibility and speed of communications will continue to feed the evil of mankind onto the playing field, a once protected area.  Sport has merely become a reflection of the modern world, for which it plays. 

In the Berlin Olympics in 1936, an evil from an earlier age had taken over sport.  At least, no one in 2010 thinks that millions should be gassed, or excluded because of their racial origins.  Mankind has taken one step forward from that time.  But how will we stop the enslavement of the human race into another form of distorted values, an over-concern with financial concerns?  Society as well as sport has to look to another future. But how will we find a way forward from the current near total corruption of our world?

Turn off the television.  Get involved in the local community.  Rediscover humanity.  Play sport for fun.  Only watch sport played for fun.  Read and contemplate in a silent environment.  This is surely the end of the road for television, and its dominance of all things.  We need to go back a hundred years and start all over again.  Somehow.

Gareth Williams' Death Is A Warning

Gareth Williams.  What did he know?
The reporting around the murder of Gareth Williams gets more and more unlikely.  It seems that the more is said about the matter, the less clear things become.  A few facts stand out.  He was one of Britain's top code and cypher experts, if not the best.   He was highly valued by the Americans, as well as MI6.  It is possible that he had been responsible for breakthroughs in code-breaking and anticipating steps being taken by enemies of Britain and America.

Those enemies obviously had a way of finding out who he was, which suggests successful counter-espionage, which had penetrated either the American security services, or the British, or both.

The fact that his body was found dismembered in a holdall indicates that the people who killed him, were intending to remove the body, and were maybe disturbed.  Everything else about the case is as clear as mud.  

There were said to be SIM cards laid out on a table, which suggests that there was a search going on of his contacts, possibly by the people who killed him.  He was said to be operating from a safe house.  How come he was successfully attacked and murdered at a safe house.  It suggests that the operatives who assassinated him were able to penetrate the security system, and possessed expert capabilities, but did not complete the operation.  

Does it sound like what we know of Al Quaeda, and Moslem terrorist organisations?  Not to my mind.  It sounds more as if a Russian operation had been mounted to eliminate him, using his personal life as a way to get access, possibly a honey trap.

If £18,000 had recently disappeared from his bank account, with no known payee, that suggests he had taken out cash to pay someone, which is unusual for such a large sum of money.  But how much of the story can we trust?  The first reports given out said he had been dead two weeks, yet his sister said he he had spoken to her less than a week before by phone.

The story is left hanging.  All we know is that Britain has been targeted and has lost a key defence asset, carefully selected and eliminated by a foreign power that intends us harm.  If the intelligence war is already at such a pitch, it suggests that someone is planning a lot more than merely taking out a key code-breaker.

It suggests that we need to be making sure of our defensive capabilities, and not cutting them back to the bone.  It suggests that the world is becoming a far more dangerous place than it was.  If there was said to be a pattern to recent events, it would suggest another move by the Russians, ruthlessly murdering anyone who gets in the way of Putin's plans.

It is another warning of his future intentions, which should be heeded.

That said, did Gareth know something else?  Litvinenko was murdered for revealing things about the Russian President's apparent use of violence against his own people, the bombing of blocks of flats which he then blamed on the Chechens, to create support for the war against Chechnya.  He also said that the attack on the theatre in Moscow,and the Beslan school siege was arranged with Russian cooperation.

He also said that Russian agents had penetrated the EU at the highest level, with Romano Prodi being an agent of the FSB (formerly KGB).  It was suggested that there are secret links between the EU and the FSB, and high level 'cooperation'.

Maybe Gareth had found out some more information through his code-breaking activities.  His landlady said he spent his hours listening to tapes, and she could hear them whirring all the time, probably as he fast forwarded and reversed them.  He wouldn't be doing it for fun, but why was he checking out tapes at home?

Maybe he was getting close to unearthing a fifth column, which lurks high up in British society, loyal to a programme to dismantle the nation, to subvert our media, reduce our monarchy - even through the use of assassination, undermine our educational system, our armed forces, our police and health service, and he had set out on a project of his own, driven on by curiosity.  As he reported his findings into the bureaucracy, someone realised he was getting too close.

He was murdered in a government safe house.  If he was Britain's top code-breaker, why wasn't he provided with round the clock protection?  It makes you feel that the enemy is within here.  I can't believe an enemy from outside could gain access so easily to carry out Gareth's murder.

The media has filled with stories to discredit him.  It is almost as if someone wants him buried twice.

'A professional code-breaker meets with a professional assassination'

UPDATE -March 24th 2011.

In the last few weeks attacks have been made on Libya and Bahrain.  Japan could have been attacked with an earthquake weapon.  Was Gareth following the use of HAARP or the OWG's plans to start more wars?  Did he report his findings to someone he trusted in the bureaucracy, who realised he was getting too close.  So many terrible things have happened in the few months since Gareth died that it does seem more likely as an explanation than it did even at the time of his death.  When a good man finds evil, what can he do?  It looks like Gareth had plenty to find.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The NHS Needs Competition Or You Die.

The problem with the NHS is that it is not a comprehensive health service.  That would not be a problem if the NHS admitted as much.

But it does not.

If the doctor knows he cannot afford to check you out further (after a five minute cursory chat) you are invariably told that you are depressed.

What he should say is,'I have decided not to dedicate any more resources to your case, as you are not fitting into a targetable category.  The quango that runs the NHS has instructed me to bundle you out of my surgery as quickly as  I can.  You will have to find alternatives to the NHS if you need further help.'

There is a desperate need for an alternative health service, provided outside the NHS non-comprehensive service, where people can pay to be assessed in more detail and over  a longer time frame.

I know of such a hospital, where I go and have paid about £40,000 over three years.  It has saved the quality of my life, and maybe my life total.

Prior to that, once I had spent years being told that I was depressed by uninterested GPs, I used to travel to Brussels where there are many private doctors operating for very reasonable prices.  I believe that one of these doctors probably saved my life by administering intravenous magnesium, at a time when my heart was malfunctioning.

He told me he was amazed that British hospitals don't administer magnesium to critical heart patients, but still give electric shock treatment, which knocks out a lot of the circuitry your heart might need to survive.

Another doctor told me that we have spare circuits which the brain eventually activates once it has decided to abandon the original circuit.  Zapping the heart with strong electric currents can damage these spare circuits, but that is the NHS' chosen method of dealing with heart rhythm malfunctions, unless you're called Tony Blair, whose case was treated with a more expensive process (freezing the tissue around the main nerve to stop it malfunctioning.  He suffered from ventricular fibrillation which is not life threatening, unlike atrial which can be).

No wonder we lose 100s of 1000s more people to heart problems a year than Germany does, given the cattle class treatment that most of us get.

Saying that, the Belgian doctor told me that vets give farm animals magnesium shots as a matter of course, but humans in Britain are clearly seen as more expendable.  Magnesium is not given.  If we produced milk or wool, our lives would be worth more to the State.

The private hospital that keeps me going in London also administers vaccines.  They were delivering the MMR as three separate jabs to give sensitive kids less of a smack of mercury.  The licensing authority removed their license to administer the vaccines.

Many of the hospital's patients have Lymes Disease, caused by tick bites where deer roam.

The NHS are not permitted to diagnose or test for Lymes Disease.  They have to call it something else, which gets the patients out of the surgery...depression and the like.

If this little private hospital did not exist, these patients would have nowhere to go.  These people are seriously ill, and the condition can be infectious. For them as in my case, they are lucky to find it.

It is sad to think that such excellent small private hospitals have to fight against the health bureaucracy to exist.....and very very wrong.

We have a non-comprehensive dishonest big brother health regime, which needs dismantling to the point that other forms of provision can come into existence.

Or just carry on dying and suffering, as we are doing now.


The WSJ sees that the problem with the NHS is that there is always more demand than supply.   The point is though when will the NHS admit this to patients, and start being honest?

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Greek 10 Year Bonds Rise To 11.67% Yesterday

The word Greece is kept out of the news these days.  Governments want the world to invest in what they call 'risk' assets, by which they mean, assets of which the price will probably fall in the years ahead.  They will only do this, if all potential bad news like the coming default of Greece on its debts is kept under wraps.

But markets don't hide.  They trade every minute of every hour of every (working) day.  And those lending to Greece now only expect to collect 20% of the amount they are promised by the Greek government.  An 80% risk of default is priced into these bonds.

The news channels like to say that the Eurozone's banking system is sound, and that no eurozone country will default.  But the pricing of Greek government debt tells a very different story.  As the prices ticks up, the expectation of loss gets bigger.

The lenders would do better to get the default out of the way, the Greek currency revalued to a level at which the country can compete, and the finances put on a sound basis for the future.  But the maintaining of countries like Ireland and Greece within the eurozone is not a financial decision, taken in the interests of Irish or Greek citizens.  It is a painful face-saving operation for the EU which cannot (yet) face up to the reality of what they have done.

Irish rates are at a record gap over German bonds, suggesting a 60% chance of default.

Loadof Balls

Loadof (Ed) Balls wants the government to borrow, borrow, borrow to head off the financial crisis, caused by his borrowing.

My comment -

The other problem is who will lend?

If the Bank Of International Settlements no longer believes in IOUs issued by the British Government, they will not lend to us. We are already in a parlous state with 4.8 trillion Pounds of New Labour Debts to carry around our necks for the next two generations.
Loadof has put us in the situation where he needs to borrow more to stop the crash now being caused by all his previous borrowing.

Get rid of this total idiot.

Friday, August 27, 2010

The Fed Cannot Stop Deflation

Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where Bernanke spoke today.  At least the mountains don't need to worry about deflation.

The world still believes that the debt fiasco of the 1990s and 2000s, and the removal of banking controls introduced to prevent another Depression eighty years ago, can have a happy ending with a painless economic recovery.  Often it is just peoples' mood that tells them there cannot possibly be a deflationary downturn, with prices rushing to ground level.  After two generations of non-stop inflation, a period of deflation to most people, is simply inconceivable.

But that doesn't mean that deflation is not just as much a part of economic life as inflation is.  Just because few living souls have yet experienced deflation is not an argument against its probability.  In fact rather the opposite.  It is because people imagined they faced a permanent inflation, that they were willing to create the circumstances that have made deflation inevitable.  They all borrowed to buy assets imagining that that would reward them.  They thought the asset they were buying would rise in price and pay off their debt for them.  It worked for near enough fifty years.

It is now the existence of all these massive debts which are owed all over the world by organisations, individuals, governments and institutions that ensures that deflation is inevitable.  The herd wants to pay off debt.  The lenders don't want to lend, and the borrowers don't want to borrow.  The debts are so big that everyone now wants to get their hands on a shrinking number of dollars all at once, which inevitably drives up the value of the dollars relative the assets they bought.

Most accept that there are signs of deflation breaking out, but there is still a significant majority that believes that the Fed and the government can somehow fix it.  People believe that governments can simply print money and all will be alright once more.

Yet governments can't print money.  They can only buy IOUs from indebted organisations.  But the IOUs in the USA become the Fed's assets (or the Bank Of England's in the UK), and the Fed itself will collapse if all it has is a load of lousy worthless IOUs.  The lending has to stop somewhere, as the Fed ultimately is responsible for its own survival, before it is responsible for bailing out indebted government or banks.  It is the final repository of financial security and has to proceed with caution.

There are limits to how much the Fed can do.

Bernanke has started to admit that deflation might be becoming a problem.  But he is not willing to declare all-out war on deflation yet, or release more quantitative easing at this stage.  But, from his words, it is clear he knows and the Fed knows that in the USA, deflation is already a fact of life, which will become the dominant event of the decade.

Neither he nor the Fed can turn around the effects of a generation which believed that borrowing was the way to handle their finances all the time, and in all circumstances forever.  That is why the economic wheel is turning.  As it turns, it turns very slowly.  And it will take a generation to find out that deflation can be just as intractable in its influence on the herd's behaviour as the period of inflation that caused it.

Here is the open-to public-opinion given by Elliott Wave International on today's events in America -

At a meeting in Jackson Hole, Wyo., this week, he (Bernanke) said what he had to say -- that deflation is "not a significant risk for the United States at this time." Nonetheless, in time-honored Fed speak, he added that the Federal Reserve "will strongly resist deviations from price stability in the downward direction.”

As the New York Times reporter commented in the August 27, 2010, report, "It was his most robust statement to date that the Fed would do its part to avoid a Japanese-style deflation from taking hold."
Watch out, below! Here comes more quantitative easing, which means that the Fed will create more money on its books and start buying up banks' bad loans to provide them with more money to lend. But the Fed can only go so far with this policy, as Bob Prechter explains in an interview he did with Justin Brill, managing editor of The Daily Crux, a financial daily digest website.
* * * * *
Excerpted from a transcript of the interview, which appeared in the June 2010 edition of The Elliott Wave Theorist, by Robert Prechter

The Daily Crux: But, ultimately can’t the Fed simply “print” money if it appears deflation is starting to win? The “drop money from helicopters” analogy you mentioned earlier? Wouldn’t that prevent outright deflation and ultimately lead to inflation or even hyperinflation as the dollar is devalued?

Robert Prechter: To begin with, the printing analogy is flawed. The Fed does not operate a press, as the government of Zimbabwe did. It creates new money only when it buys IOUs. This may seem to be a distinction without a difference, but it’s actually very important. These IOUs are the Fed’s assets, and it doesn’t want worthless assets backing its notes.

Even if the Fed were to monetize every dime of currently outstanding, dollar-denominated debt, it would create no net inflation. The money-plus-credit supply would be the same. And price levels — especially for investments — are based on the total of monetary assets, not just base money.

Even so, there is no way that the Fed will buy up the entire world’s stock of lousy IOUs. It has always wanted pristine assets on its books. Remember, it didn’t buy Fannie and Freddie’s IOUs until it got the Treasury to guarantee them.

Then there is the so-called moral hazard — not that the Fed cares about morality — meaning that if the Fed were to begin buying everyone’s IOUs, people would immediately issue more IOUs as fast as they could and sell them to the Fed. It couldn’t keep up with the volume.

But these scenarios are fantasies. In reality, self-preservation will eventually motivate the Fed just as it motivates every other institution. Buying too many worthless assets would cause the Fed’s self-destruction, and I think it will balk at going that far.

What with the effects of moral hazard, and the need for the Fed to purchase only paper of the highest quality, deflation cannot be turned around.  It can be delayed a little,and some of its most brutal effects reduced.  That is all.

Marketwatch -

SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- A majority of investment advisers say that a double-dip recession is unlikely and that the stock market will improve over the next six months -- but their clients are more worried, according to a survey of money managers released Wednesday by financial-services firm Charles Schwab Corp.

Almost 60% of advisers said it's unlikely the U.S. economy will head back into recession in the next six months -- 28% said it's likely to happen -- and 63% said the S&P 500 will rise in that time, according to the survey in July of 1,199 advisers who work at independent firms with assets held at Schwab. Hear the views of PNC strategist Bill Stone on the odds of a double dip.

But about half of advisers said their clients are less optimistic about the economy than clients were in 2009. And 50% of advisers said their clients are less optimistic now than they were last year about being able to retire on time, while 40% said their clients are less positive about their investments' performance. When it comes to their pocketbooks, 47% of clients are trimming back on expenses and more than half are cutting back on spending.
FT - Clive Crook -

He wants the Fed to buy IOUs and release money into the economy.  But buying US government Treasuries, and not Corporate or Municipal debt is raising the spreads of these riskier assets, making their fund raising more expensive as this is sucking investor's money into the safer Treasuries.  He writes -

which assets should the Fed buy? As Alan Blinder, a former vice-chairman of the Fed, has noted, the recent policy of replacing maturing mortgage-backed securities on the Fed’s balance sheet with government debt has a secondary effect of reducing downward pressure on risk spreads, which is a pity. From that point of view, it would be better if a new phase of QE concentrated on private securities – but then the question would be, exactly which?

The other problem, Clive, is that the Fed has to look to its own credibility, and economic survival.  If it buys assets that are to become worthless, the whole economic system could teeter close to collapse.  I would be grateful that the Fed has eased as much as it has.  The problem is that the debts in the economy have been allowed to balloon as big as they have.  At some point, asset prices have got to be allowed to fall back to the point of affordability.  Pumping in money only delays the day, and makes the debt problem yet bigger.  Confidence in The Fed will be pivotal to any recovery.  Let's not drag the Fed into the mess any more than it has been.  

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Miliband D Has A Nasty Sneer

Miliband D - short for Drac

I was watching him on TV last night trying to ham up the IFS attack on Osborne and split away Liberal Dems from the coalition.  I noticed that his sneer, as seen in the picture above, had got a lot worse.  My experience of people of who talk with a twisted mouth is that they rarely tell the truth, and they have deep-seated unease about themselves.

You watch him next time he's on TV.  It stands out a mile.

When Iain Dale asked for movie characters to parallel Labour's leadership contestants recently, I saw a likeness between Miliband D and Count Dracula.  He's now D for 'Drac' to his 'friends'.

The other Miliband brother, E for Ed, has an uncanny likeness to another monstrous character. He is not as good a talker as 'Dracula' above, it has to be said, but at least Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, who he faintly resembles, was only a character to be pitied, and didn't go round sucking peoples' blood.

My advice.  Beware of the man or woman who sneers.  They bring only trouble in their wake.  Remember this man who was famous for his sneer?

- the initiator of the Iraq War ....

Dick someone or other.


FORMER Labour MP Chris Mullin, who writes in his book Decline and Fall about David Miliband, bumped into the Labour leadership contender in the Commons tearoom and made the following observation. He has "an inability to concentrate while others are talking. His eyes were darting all over and he was bobbing up and down every couple of minutes."
These seem like the symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, where the patient is hopeless at organising anything.
According to educational psychologist Angela Gardner, there are three key symptoms: poor attention and concentration, impulsivity and fidgety behaviour and restlessness.However, she rejects any suggestion that Miliband could do with a dose of Ritalin.
"Because of the high levels of attention and concentration required by his job, it is almost impossible that he could have ADHD," she says. "When preoccupied, overtired or suffering from a lack of sleep, many people display these kinds of symptoms," she tells me.

EU Bullies Cut No Ice WIth Slovakia's New Thatcher

Iveta Radicova, pronounced -itsova, Europe's New Thatcher
Since the Lisbon Treaty was signed, a fog has descended over European capitals.  In Britain, Cameron has said little against anything that the EU either does, says or stands for, with politicians nearly everywhere unwilling to speak out against the EU, now it has acquired so many powers over everything and everyone that moves.

The powers acquired are real enough, but in the end of the day, the power within the Brussels edifice still depends to a large amount on bullying, and stopping opposition that way.  The Irish, for example, wanted to reject Lisbon a second time, but were intimidated into voting Yes by economic threats.  They must already be wondering if that was the right thing to have done.

There are, though, places where the politicians are not cowed into silence and compliance by these kinds of threats.  These politicians come from places where they grew used to living under bureaucratic threat over many decades, as satellites of the Soviet Union, places like Bratislava, capital of Slovakia.   The new Prime Minister, who is refusing to join in the Greek bail-out, is another fine example, adding to the spirit shown recently by Hungary which rejected intereference by the EU and the IMF in running its internal affairs.

Open Europe 25.8.10

Slovak PM Radicova said "When democratically elected politicians raise criticisms they have the right to do so. But European administrators do not have this right, not under any circumstances."

FAZ and Die Welt feature interviews with Slovak Prime Minister Iveta Radicov√° discussing the Greek bailout package. Radicov√° is quoted in Die Welt saying, "we show solidarity and take on responsibility...but we don't want people who acted irresponsibly to get money." When commenting on EU Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs Ollie Rehn's public criticism for not taking part in the bailout she says: "the way in which [he], a non-elected official from Brussels, spoke about the freely elected members of the Slovakian parliament was insulting. I will demand an official apology for this from Brussels during my visit to Berlin".

"Europe must not be constituted by a big brother and many satellites which have to obey the larger, more powerful and wealthier. We remember very well what it means to be a satellite...I don't want to compare, I only want to highlight that democracy also means to listen to the arguments of those who may be very small but are aware of their responsibilities", she says in FAZ.

She continues: "Talk that Slovakia is acting irresponsibly must stop. To say it in all clarity: When democratically elected politicians raise criticisms they have the right to do so. But European administrators do not have this right, not at any time".

Now that's fighting talk, which should be emulated by William Hague and David Cameron, as they nestle comfortably into their relationship with Brussels.  What are they doing to stop the three Britons being draggged  off daily to rot in European jails, usually for no less than minor tarffic offences?  These are economic and political hostages being taken.  Radicova would not tolerate such things, I have no doubt.

 Has Europe recently acquired a new Thatcher?  Let's hope.  Why does it always take a woman to stand up to a gang of bullying men?

Beijing's New 1000 Seater Superbus

Artists's impression.  Being tested in 2010.

I don't know how many of you have taken a city bus ride in China in the rush hour.  The bus moves in short sharp uncomfortable pulses as space appears in the solid traffic.  The seats and the aisles are packed to bursting.  Most westerners would regard the experience as unacceptable, yet in China it's daily normal.

A student put his mind to solving the problem, and the above is his brainchild.  A 1000 seater bus that runs on rails placed into the highway, on stilts as it were, running over the traffic below.

It's a very clever idea, and if it works will no doubt be seen all over the world over time.

From China Post

This handout illustration from Shenzhen Hashi Future Parking Equipment received on Tuesday, Aug. 24, shows the "super bus," due to be tested in the coming months in the western part of Beijing, traveling on rails and straddling two lanes of traffic, allowing cars to drive under its passenger compartment, which holds up to 1,400 people. (AFP)

Financiers Are Quitting The Eurozone.

They say that politicians always lie.  Well, yes.  Of course they lie.  Or as Mandelson called it, they 'create the narrative'.  Markets are far more honest.  If a price moves up or down, it cannot be denied.  It is pure and simple - the truth.  As the old saying goes, you should watch where people are putting their money, and see if it's where their mouths are.

We've heard all the spin about the bank stress tests, and how the Euro will be protected, for example.  But in the same space of time that this has been happening, the movement between the Euro and the Swiss Franc has been telling a very different story.  You needed 1.50 Swiss Francs to buy one Euro six months ago.  Today you need just over 1.30.  It seems that the real money is not listening to the assurances that the Euro will survive, but getting out as fast as it can, to Switzerland or Tokyo.

While eurozone governments spend  their peoples' money in the forlorn hope of saving the currency, large holders of Euros are taking their chance to get out.  No doubt many Greek and Irish financiers will be among these, friends of the same politicians putting their countries through extreme austerity to save their Euro membership.  They aren't going to save the Euro.  They are merely buying themselves and their rich friends time to get their money out before the real crash happens.

Talking about Ireland, the Irish stock market has fallen 12.5% is two weeks, falling three times faster than the British FTSE 100, heading south even quicker than the Greek stockmarket.

These market trends, and the fact that Greek ten year bonds are still up over 11% tell you that there is no chance of the Euro being saved.  That's not me talking but is the opinion of the people best placed to know, those with the big money, and with inside information.

So don't listen too hard to Merkel, Sarkozy,Trichet and Barroso as they swear they will save the  euro currency and the eurozone economy.  Look instead where they and their rich friends are putting not your money, but their own money.   You can't see the cheques being written, but markets don't move 20% in a month or two unless someone powerful is buying or selling very hard.

The markets are telling us the truth.  The eurozone cannot survive.  The rich know and are getting out - while the people of Europe are lashed to the task of saving the unsaveable, losing their economies in the process.  The end of the USSR destroyed the Russian economy.  The end of the EU will be no different.  The message should be sell up and get out while you can.  Just copy what they are doing.  It's very simple.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Is There An Attempt To Stop The Crash?

The US markets opened with a dive this morning, then all at the same moment they recovered, along with gold and silver and most non-dollar currencies bar Swiss and Yen. It smelt of intervention. My mate in the City said it was panic.
The Japanese announced a programme of Yen intervention and QE today.
There might be a QE about to come out over here again. There must be a coordinated programme around the world to try to stop markets falling going on.  

Faisal Islam says that there will be a big economics announcement to be made at midnight.  Is it all part of the same 'try to stop the crash' story?

From the WSJ -

Investors are also apprehensive about the Federal Reserve's annual meeting set for Friday and Saturday, after a report in The Wall Street Journal pointed to an ongoing discussion at the central bank over what to do next, if anything, about America's weak recovery and low inflation.

"That's got the market unnerved a bit," said Quincy Krosby, chief market strategist at Prudential Financial. "You don't want to hear that they're unsure of how to pull us out of this."

CNBC - Economy Caught in Depression, Not Recession

AV Means Authority Vacuum

Hat Tip - Mike Smithson of Political Betting

This chart was posted two days ago on PB, and it shows how the recent election result would have been had it taken place under an AV system.  Add Labour to Lib Dem, and there would have been a clear Parliamentary majority for a LibLab coalition with 337 seats between them.

It is quite clear that had this been the result the Lib Dems, who had a clear offer of an AV voting system on the table from Labour, would have signed up with Gordon Brown, who would have stayed on as Prime Minister another five years.

Luckily for Britain, we still have FPTP and Lib and Lab only had 317 seats leaving them short of the vital 326 needed.

Look too at the Australian election result where a non-result has just occurred leaving the country rudderless.  AV  is a bloody useless electoral system which stops the majority from deciding who should run countries.  In Australia AV is now allowing a Mr Total Nonentity, an Independent from Western Australia with no great thoughts other than how much money he can negotiate from the next government, in a position to decide who will run the country

AV gives not an alternative vote, but  creates an Authority Vacuum, the worst thing in a time of financial crisis.  

In Britain's case, thank god we got rid of Gordon Brown.  

Now let's get rid of AV, before it stuffs us like it has stuffed Australia.

Australian AV - a picture of instability.

The Liberal-held Dunkley and Boothby now seem safe. Brisbane falls to the Liberals, and former Greens candidate Andrew Wilkie edges ahead again in Denison.

Likely result: Coalition 73, Labor 72, Labor-leaning independent 1, Greens 1, ex-Nationals independents 3.
Now it seems that the ex-Nationals independents really have little excuse not to back Abbott, if stability is really what they want (and if the seats stay as I’ve called them).
Backing Abbott would give the Government a majority of two. Backing Labor a likely majority of four, but dependent on an unlikely mix of rural conservatives, a Greens extremist, an ex-Greens independent and a warring Labor.
(Figures corrected.)

Monday, August 23, 2010

EU Seizes Britons As Economic Hostages

EU Extradition victim - Ben Herdman, effectively an economic hostage.  See Daily Mail article below.
As they say, better late than never.  One effect of the new coalition is not simply that it has removed a blinkered, tyrannical, decade long regime from Downing St.  It seems to have also had the effect of opening the previously closed eyes of Fleet St.  The Daily Mail seems to have found its eurosceptic voice out of the blue, after years of Gordon Brown-adoring by Dacre.

The Daily Telegraph too has suddenly found that the EU with its authoritarian ways is carrying out serious injustices against British citizens.  British citizens are being removed to face imprisonment in other European countries over things as simple as traffic offences.

The EU Extradition Law was introduced many years ago - in 2003, the year of the Iraq War and of the crushing of Press freedom in Britain by Blair and Campbell - allegedly to fight against terrorism.  Yet seven years later British citizens, in thousands, are being removed to face imprisonment in other European countries, in many cases, over things as simple as traffic offences.

 Restoring the necessary monitoring of extradition requests might be expensive, but even in a time of stringency, the cost is worth it. The system was agreed on the grounds that all EU states have equally fair legal systems, so no sacrifice of liberty would be involved in an overseas trial. But it is pure fantasy to think that Bulgaria, or Romania, or even Greece or Italy, have legal systems that provide equivalent protections for the accused. Even if they are cleared, they will have had to undergo the trauma and disruption of being summoned to a foreign country to answer the charges, which are often relatively trivial.

As with the investigatory powers that are frequently abused by local councils, the European arrest warrant was created largely in response to the threat of terrorism, to be applied only to the most serious offences. That it has expanded to include misdemeanours such as traffic violations is a deeply depressing, yet all too predictable, example of official zeal trumping common sense. The Coalition was not responsible for the legislation that has created automatic extradition, and it has promised to “review” it. It needs to do so quickly – and to bear in mind that the best way to fix the system might simply be to abolish it. 
What The Telegraph doesn't say is that legal processes in many European countries are merely regarded as a way to make money - by lawyers, judges and politicians.  British Citizens make good victims as by and large we have money, which is then spent in defending ourselves.
Why it took The Telegraph seven years to notice what is happening is something which we can only wonder about.  Fear of the Blair and Brown regimes by the media was real enough.  The coalition seems to have ended that.  The truth might at last be told.  Not before time.

Open Europe -

Number of people in Britain extradited under European Arrest Warrant increases by more than 50%
The Sunday Telegraph reported on its front page that the number of people in Britain seized under the controversial European Arrest Warrant rose by more than 50 percent last year, according to figures obtained from the Home Office. In total 1,032 people - almost three a day - were detained and extradited by British police on the orders of European prosecutors in the 12 months to April, up from 683 in 2008-09. The Home Office expects a further 70 percent rise, to 1,700 cases, next year.

David Blunkett, the former Home Secretary who introduced the European warrants was quoted saying, "I was right, as Home Secretary in the post-9/11 era, to agree to the European Arrest Warrant, but I was insufficiently sensitive to how it might be used." A current Home Office spokesman said: "The Government is committed to reviewing the UK's extradition arrangements." In a separate article, Lib Dem MEP Graham Watson was quoted saying, "The European Arrest Warrant should not be feared. It is a crucial tool in ensuring criminals cannot hide behind national borders. It has brought justice to the perpetrators of murder, rape and terrorism."

A leader in the paper argued, "We have every sympathy with the authorities' efforts to track down vicious criminals who have fled these or other shores. But the price of speed and efficiency has, all too often, been injustice."

It's worse than injustice.  These arrests are nothing more than a way to feed a legal system hungry for cases and easy money.  This is simply an extortion racket, agreed to by Blair in 2003, and now creaming Britons of their savings by threatening to remove their freedom.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Inflation Scares Britain's Elite Thinkers. Why?

Turning between weekend rags, the economics subjet de moment is undoubtedly inflation.  Lord Rees-Mogg writes up his assessment that the coalition could be felled by its encroaching back into the fore in Britain.  It was not an offensive piece he wrote, and possessed more in words than statistics to persuade its readers.

But the leading article in The Sunday Telegraph business section, based on figures from Andrew Lilico, chief economist of Policy Exchange,  David Cameron's favourite think tank, was far more specific.

He quotes his thoughts that interest rates should be raised, and soon, as otherwise they will have to see 8% to head off inflation of 20%.  It seems that the inflation scare is breaking out across the media's elite this weekend.  People like Andrew Lilico are close to the government.  Is this the government's thinking also?

It is always reassuring when experts are all convinced of a certain outcome all at once.  It is invariably the moment when the thing they declare to be of the greatest danger, is no threat whatsoever.  It reminds one of the article in The Times signed by 340 economists in 1981, all declaring that Thatcher's spending cuts would cause a deeper recession.  All they did was enable interest rates to fall, and investment to lift, and the recovery to get going.

Now we find expert opinion focused on the imminent threat of another economic danger, that of rising prices, all declaring that the government must do something about it urgently.  

Yet haven't they noticed?

Houses are selling in fewer and fewer numbers across the country.  Unemployment is at an all time high (if the categories such as the millions labelled disabled are taken into account).  Shops are all complaining of falling demand.

OK. Petrol prices are still at all time highs.  But that has nothing to do with the oil price.  That topped at $140 per barrel, and is now at $73 and falling.  Gas prices into homes are still at their peak, yet natural gas has fallen from $14 to $4.  In the US, where consumers don't trust big corporations, these prices have to be reflected in retail prices on a daily basis.  In Britain, for some quaint reason, the corporations are permitted to keep the high prices years after they have passed on, when the levels only touched the highs fleetingly anyway.

We hear that the reason we are charged such high prices is the falling £.  Yet the £ is currently £1.55, well up from the £1.35 level it touched in 2008.  Is there a bit of kidology going on here?  I would say so.

In the USA, consumer inflation has been zero for the last three months.  Japan has suffered effective deflation for fifteen years, since their bubble economy popped in the 1990s.   Everywhere in the developed world inflation is falling, and is either in deflation or on the verge of deflation.

Governments all over the world are in serious debt, including Britain's.  The Telegraph yesterday totalled our debts up as being £4.8 trillion, including bank liabilities, state pension liabilities, state employee pension liabilities and general government debt.

The point that the inflationists don't get is that the gilts raised, or money printed to bail out these debts is not being added to the money supply.  The money was added to the money supply a long time ago.   What is happening now is that there is not enough supply of money to keep banks afloat, and even with the government issuing large chunks of the stuff,  none of the cash is finding its way out into the real Vince Cable keeps complaining.  It is purely restoring smashed balance sheets, which shed their load into money supply in previous years.

The biggest creator of money is debt, people and businesses and banks lending to each other, and bidding up the price of assets.  In the US money supply figures are no longer published, but some estimates say that money supply is now falling by as much as 10% a year.  In Britain, the same situation cannot be far behind.  Interest rates are low, which suggests that demand for money is also low, even lower than supply.

In fact money supply is indeed shrinking on all fronts, and that includes government spending.  That is why investors see that gilts offering 3% p.a. for 10 years, and 4% p.a. for 30 years are a good bet.  By the time they come to collect their capital, prices for most things will be at much lower levels, and they will make nice fat gains, able to come back into asset markets like property or shares once the falls are over.

As asset prices fall, money supply shrinks.  Shares and property are falling.  Inflation, which fell last month (CPI from 3.1% to 3.0%) is dead as a dodo, or soon will be.  How long will it take before the commentariat and the government's advisers can spot it?

The government should not be raising interest rates as Rees-Mogg and Lilico suggest, but planning to take advantage of the windfall of collapsing longterm interest rates by building all the rail links the country needs, airports and roads.  It will help us through the coming depression, and set us up for the bounceback when it eventually comes in a few years time.

This is a deflationary era.  These experts have never seen one before.  Maybe that's why they don't recognise what they are looking at.  Britain's higher inflation is based on high tax, and regulators allowing high prices for fuels and so on where they should have been got rid of ages ago.  The British consumer is far too weak, and needs to get campaigning against these exorbitant energy prices.

The client state of Gordon Brown is what's delaying the fall in prices.  Our money is still being shovelled down the toilet.   That is all.   I think that Cameron and Clegg and Osborne are working on that now.  Let's hope, but equally let's not waste any energy on fighting the old enemy, inflation, which is in truth defeated.  The only game in town is the unwinding of the credit bubble, and the bringing of prices back down to earth.

Postal Voting Fucks Up Australian Election

Julia Gillard, the beneficiary of a superior postal voting campaign.
It's not only in Britain that postal and proxy votes are harvested and used to win seats by 'well-organised' left wing political parties.  This week's Australian election which would otherwise have thrown out the Labor Government, is now stuck with a Hung Parliament, and according to the commentators, the reason is postal voting, or as they call it, the government's 'superior' postal voting operation.

BRISBANE: Sitting Labor MP Arch Bevis is trailing former Liberal MP Teresa Gambaro by 828 votes with 70 per cent of the vote counted. That leaves a lot of pre-poll and postals to be counted. Labor describes the contest as "neck and neck", relying on its superior postal vote processes to get Bevis across the line despite a swing against the government of 5.3 per cent.
CORANGAMITE: Sitting Labor MP Darren Cheeseman leads the Liberals' Sarah Henderson by 1189 votes with 80 per cent of the vote counted. Labor is "quietly confident" its postal vote campaign will get Cheeseman home despite a swing against Labor of just under 1 per cent.

Until postal voting is brought properly under control, it seems no right wing party will be able to win an election, having 'inferior' postal voting operations - or as most people would say, being of a disposition not to cheat - not something to affect left wing parties called Labour, Labor, Liebour etc.
In Britain Cameron winning was a miracle when you consider what he was up against.  All the marginals went to Labour.  Only in the outliers where Labour did not mount 'superior' postal voting operations, imagining the seats safe, did he gain ground.  Now we see the same shit deciding the future of another formerly great democracy.  It's time the postal voting door was closed.

AV also is being blamed for the cock-up of an election result

From Political Betting comments

Gillard needs 1 of the 3 conservative independents to form a government, and 1 is very positive to new climate change legislation. Tony Windsor of New England.
If Labour get in, they will have to bend over to numerous Green demands on climate change and introducing a carbon tax on urban and rural industry polluters. Something which the other indcependents would not want as it would hit the costs of their constituents.
I explained 6 weeks ago that a 5 percent lead over labour was insufficient for the “Tories” to win.
The high green vote means that labour gets in by the back door. The failure of the Tories to highlight this in advertising, that avote for the Greens as a proterst was essentially a vote for labour, was a bad oversight and mistake.
With some people protesting against labour by voting Green, their votes simply returned to Labour under a preference deal that was organised quickly and well in advance. Labour gave its senate preferences to the Greens, guaranteeing they would become a major player in the upper house and hold the government to ransom.
But Labour needed to do this so that they had a chnace of winning lower house seats on reciprocal Green preferences.
I predicted in advance yesterday that labour would win 2 or 3 seats and the coalition would fall just short of a majority.

With a Green independent likely to be winning a seats under this crazy Oz AV system with just 22% of the vote, clearly the system has its faults.
If a party in Oz can get into 2nd place and garner preferences they can win seats they have no right to do, so I can see why the Liberals in the UK might favour it.

It makes you think what AV would do to Britain - consign us to permanent coalition governments, where minority parties set the agenda and frustrate the mood of the majority.

The mood of Australians, after 19 consecutive years of economic growth, should be grateful to the incumbent.  Yet with the world looking set for a downturn, Australians must fear a new decline is coming.  Gillard did the right thing to run for an electoral victory now before the real economic picture becomes clear to voters.  It's just annoying to think that she would have lost were it not for the various poll rigging measures that have been introduced.

FT on Australia -

But the election comes against a backdrop of enduring economic growth and increasingly lucrative trading links with emerging Asian powers led by China. After side-stepping the Asian financial crisis in 1997, the downturn after the dotcom collapse in 2001 and now the worst of the global financial crisis, Australia has managed to maintain an uninterrupted growth streak now into its 19th year. The country, a member of the Group of 20 leading nations, can rarely have had a more golden period since European settlement began 232 years ago.
While most large industrialised nations emerge from painful downturns with huge government debt, Australia, which skirted recession by recording just one quarter of gross domestic product contraction, forecasts a return to surplus in less than three years. Unemployment peaked at 5.8 per cent and is now at 5.3 per cent, a little more than half that of the US and eurozone.

Australians will find themselves in a higher tax environment just as the economy turns down, as a result - and which is not what the majority voted for.   As in Britain the right wing needs to get plus 5% just to get level.  In Britain the figure is 8%.  If postal voting scams were eliminated, the right wing parties would all now have comfortable majorities.  That is why they are tolerated.

TONY ABBOTT, the coalition leader says that he won 400,000 more votes than Labor and so has the moral right to govern Australia.  Let's see which way the three Independents jump.