Monday, 29 March 2010

what's that...?

... sustainability at its 2010 best!

The efficiency applied to the ambitious destruction of our planet is almost to good to be true!

What is it, the picture shows? Soon you will see millions of it...

Carpe diem!

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Greece, Portugal, but...

quo vadis Pound?

Telegraph: Portugal downgrade knocks Euro as Merkel imposes IMF solution for Greece

Well, nothing new under the EURO sun, things go to plan.

The EURO, as installed, will not survive. The downgrading of Portugal is opening the shooting range; Portugal is wounded, blood stains everywhere; Spain, Ireland, Italy and others are holding their breath.

A report by UBS entitled "How to Break up a Monetary Union" has been circulating like wildfire in financial centres. "It is relatively clear that the euro does not work. That is to say, parts of the Euro area would have been better off (economically) if they had never joined," it said.

With Merkel's suicidal stubbornness following the Maastricht doctrines which in fact forbids any bail-out of any member EURO-Europe will break apart, currency-wise; don't forget this just follows its cause, as economy-wise the EURO members couldn't be any more different.

So what will it be like?

The allegedly "weak" ones will become ugly competitors to the ones that gave the strong ones. The weaks' cost of labour will be most competitive, their tourism will boom, whatever they can export will be inexpensive; their EURO debts will have to be written off, protectionism will come back.

How good will that be for our Pound?

Carpe diem!

Sunday, 21 March 2010

german groove... relax, but...

... mind that left knee of yours:

Marius Müller-Westernhagen - new CD: Williamsburg

The refrain goes:

we are fed up to the back teeth
with dope and alcohol
with media politics
and your dirty tricks...

Here is the rest of the text in German,
the guitar speaks English, I believe:

Wir waren zu dritt
weniger sieben
Von uns war nicht einmal
nichts geblieben
Wir glaubten an
Elvis und Scientologen
Das reimt sich verdammt gut
Auf wir wurden betrogen

Der Aufstand der Nullen
zog sich in die Länge
Der Rat der Weisen,
zerdrückt in der Menge
Godot war gekommen,
mit kahlem Schädel
Das Recht zum Verfilmen
liegt bei Uli, dem Edel

Wir haben die Schnauze voll
Von Dope und Alkohol
Von Medienpolitik
Von euren schmutzigen Tricks

Und du lebst noch immer
mit der gleichen Frau
Da hat sich ´ne Menge
Wut aufgestaut
Und deine Tochter,
das gleiche Kaliber
Schmuggelt Kassiber,
was täte sie lieber

Dabei hattest du doch
so große Ziele
Wolltest Maler werden
wie Egon der Schiele
Und deine Eltern waren
immer so stolz
So ist das Leben
Beschissen. Was soll ´s

Wir haben die Schnauze voll
Von Dope und Alkohol
Von Medienpolitik
Von euren schmutzigen Tricks

Heilig ist die Musik
Verflucht sei, wer sie betrügt
Gier ist der Tod der Kunst
In Köln nennt man die Pussi Punz

Und die Moral von der Geschichte
Du bist noch lang kein Poet,
schreibst du auch Gedichte
Und hast du erst einmal
die Unschuld verloren
ein Arschloch geboren

Wir haben die Schnauze voll
Von Dope und Alkohol
Von Medienpolitik
Von euren schmutzigen Tricks

Heilig ist die Musik
Verflucht sei, wer sie betrügt
Gier ist der Tod der hehren Kunst
In Köln nennt man die Pussi Punz
[ Wir Haben Die Schnauze Voll Lyrics on ]

Carpe diem!

Saturday, 20 March 2010

In German: HypoRealEstate

... a report on and about Hypo Real Estate

Sorry, this comes in German language, only, even though the bankster's crime scene was very proud to have an English, an international, even a global name, one that most Germans would translate with something like "Hypo: True Property". Well, they changed the name to a now pure German one, at least they are all German property now.

I think it is worthwhile to add this here for those who understand (some) German: the report on this "system relevant" bank and how it was nationalised reveals how much criminal energy and intelligence "was" behind what is now a €200bn grave in a Bad Bank, guaranteed by the German government, the tax payer; soon to become real debts: shit (will) happen(s)!

Carpe diem!

Friday, 19 March 2010

the fourth revolution

... it can be done!

Be very careful and very censorious when the one or the other lobby tells you that "this" or "that" is the ""one and only" way forward; it will definitely be a mix; a mix of generating energy and a mix of avoiding consumption that will make us more independent, that will reduce our footprint, improve efficiency and give us choices. That's not what the oligopoly wants us to achieve.

Carpe diem!

clean coal over dirty solar

... or vice versa?

Times Online: Carbon-capture powerstation planned for Hunterston

The headline is misleading; it sounds as if a 'CCS powerstation' was something to be grabbed from a shop's shelf, installed in no time: success!

No, nothing like that at all; none of the countries so far that have claimed to be the leaders in CCS technology, I heard it from the UK, Germany, France and the U.S., at least, have ever come up with a proven, working solution other than under laboratory conditions; with other words, nobody knows whether "CCS" will ever work in the big, rather huge scale of a 1,6GW dirty coal plant, and for how long?. The School of GeoSciences, University of Edinburgh, part of Scottish Centre for Carbon Storage - is this in short the CCS lobby? - explains what it would/should/could be like: nice pictures!

This blog has discussed this several times, among others: First clean coal to be extracted... and CCS...

It makes sense that MSPs have now opposed the plans for Hunterston >BBC!

Approving a new coal-fired power station before CCS is shown to work at scale could mean millions of tonnes of unabated new carbon emissions from Hunterston.

... and millions of pounds of Pounds wasted!

It would be nice if it worked, sure, alone exporting the proven know-how to China (without giving it away!!!) would make a nice export boom, but then there are so many alternatives worthwhile some investment, incentives and in general terms the ambition to find the real solutions. Some technologies are about to really become sustainable, have formed complete industries driving efficiency forward and prices down - with the UK leaning back, watching, discussing, and most probably trying to invent the wheel again but name it differently...

The text is in German but the cake should be obvious; it is on the 'worldmarket of PV' in 2008, i.e. solar power, better named photo voltaic (not to be mixed up with the generalisation 'solar energy') . Did you find the UK on the list? No, but you should: it is an insignificant part of number 12!

I will try to find the latest figures which are clearly up again as the industry in 2009 has been booming - at least in those countries that invested in it and will now see the benefit.

In one of my next blogs I will also demonstrate how PV is even working in latitudes like ours here in Scotland, may be not quite as good as in Spain but then we must have one benefit from living on this island!

Carpe diem!

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

and here is why nothing...

...will change!

The New York Times: Corporate Debt Coming Due May Squeeze Credit
... 2012 also is the beginning of a three-year period in which more than $700 billion in risky, high-yield corporate debt begins to come due, an extraordinary surge that some analysts fear could overload the debt markets.

The United States government alone will need to borrow nearly $2 trillion in 2012, to bridge the projected budget deficit for that year and to refinance existing debt.

that's only 1,000,000,000,000 of many more needed...

Moody's said the United States and other major Western nations, particularly Britain, have moved “substantially” closer to losing their gilt-edged ratings. The ratings are “stable,” but “their ‘distance-to-downgrade’ has in all cases substantially diminished,” the credit ratings agency said.

A downgrade would affect more than American pride. The bigger risk would be to the country’s ability to keep borrowing money on extremely favorable terms, and therefore to keep spending more money than it takes in from tax revenue.

The above does not include the further deterioration of the global economy nor any other country but the US - so as small as Greece might feel there are many more countries in trouble from Japan to Russia and a huge number of smaller ones. Can you imagine anyone having the guts to restrict the banksters' power and influence facing those enormous volumes of debts that need to be refuelled? Or with other words how would you end that highly efficient and complex system of debts feeding debts with debts feeding d...

Even the slightest reduction of quantitative easing formerly called "printing money" in connection with ultra low interest rates in an effort to fight possible inflationary tendencies or any cut of public spending might be the very last thing you wanted to do just to avoid immediate collapse of this fragile needle point balance.

This really makes it irrelevant whether any country's rating drops from triple A to mono X; they/we all sit in the same boat and if one plug is pulled all passengers will get wet.

Carpe diem!

warming up the leftovers...

... but who will deal with the failed!

It is very close to 12 months ago when I blogged on an interview with US economist James K. Galbraith; I did this because I thought at that time that his summary was very accurately describing the situation then.

Why do I pick it up again? Because the situation is no different but worse, Galbraith's answers are very much up-to-date and the recipes to solve the crisis explained how insolvent banks should be dealt with:

In a situation when a bank has suffered losses sufficient to impair its capital, you need to have regulatory supervision in place.

This does not mean that you necessarily close the bank. The way it usually works in the USA is that a bank is closed on Friday and re-opened on Monday under a new name, with a new leadership and with a team of examiners who are going through the books, trying to sort the good business loans and personal loans from those which are hopeless. Then you isolate the hopeless stuff, you force a write down of the equity and the subordinated debts of the people who put in risk capital -- so they have to take their losses as they should. And then you break up the bank into pieces which have a better prospect to gain viability soon. That's a process of re-organization and re-capitalization.

A change of management is essential, because firstly, the incumbents are responsible, whether they were culpable or not, and secondly, you need new people who are in line with the public purpose of this re-organization. It's the same principle in the navy: When a ship runs aground, the captain is removed, no matter if he caused the accident or not. No one would think it's a good idea to have the subsequent investigation headed by the ones who are to be investigated.

For another up-to-date interview click here.

Any kind of stimulus programmes, any new debts or any new, distortable balance sheets (e.g. EMF or similar) will not offer any sustainable solution unless independent governments are setting and enforcing new rules for new banks; I don't see those coming and I also doubt any new government will be anywhere near a position to finally clean up the mess.

So the crunch(-es) will go on; the credit-crunch will feed the EURO/currency-crunch, the climate-crunch will enhance the water- and energy-crunches or all vice versa; we better get used to it.

Btw: are you aware of an island called "Diego Garcia"? Or "Camp Justice"? It would not be the first time the world would seek its hail in war; preparation is on as you can read in the HeraldScotland.

Carpe diem!

Monday, 8 March 2010

one winter on tyres

Regular readers have seen it; we had lots of snow up here, probably more than during the last five years all together. When the first blow hit us it was "once in a century", now eight weeks later we were still and again snowed in and it is rather a "once in a decade" affair. The plough might need a companion: a blower!

Having helped out neighbours, the occasional ditch victim and some Formula 1 drifters - those are the ones on pure slick-type tyres blinded by fear and driving on hope - there was plenty of opportunity to discuss the right kind of tyre; one that might make the battle with that white powder, soft or black ice a bit more realistic and a wee more fruitful.

What we call snow tyres is called Winter tyres on the Continent. That explains that "stupid" answer on my question "Why don't you put on snow tyres?" Whoever I asked came back with "Oh, we hardly see snow nowadays!"

Hardly!? See!?

Altering the question to "Why don't you use winter tyres?" made it even worse: "Oh, we don't have Winter tyres in this country!"

Glad, at least nobody questioned the four seasons.

Along with the one season generally referred to as 'Winter' come lower temperatures; in very general terms: those degrees below +7°C are not what regular 'Summer' tyres are made for; they are simply getting too hard, so they work their best from around 18°C upwards getting softer and producing the grip you expect.

The rubber compound of winter tyres, obviously designed to work best in cold rain, on snow and even to some extend (sorry: extent!) on ice is much softer; it is more flexible at lower temperatures (best at -4°C) and offers much more grip than a hardened, in many cases tread reduced Summer tyre.

By the way I: in some European countries you are more or less forced to switch to the appropriate seasonal tyre as in case of an accident, your fault or not, the insurance companies will survey not only how you handled your car but will also check your tyres; should there be any reason to believe that your tyres were inappropriate you will have to come up with 'your fair share' of the damage (cost).

By the way II: there are not many insurance companies nowadays that not serve the UK and parts of Europe, or vice versa. So they are aware of all seasons, anywhere!

By the way III: I am not paid by the tyre industry nor do I hold any shares in same!

In the end it makes drifting much more fun while driving becomes safer and so much more efficient.

Carpe diem!

apropos plastic

Life in a sea of plastic.

Also see here for more on plastic, and plastic in construction.

pe diem!

Sunday, 7 March 2010

USA's AIG's AIA, part II

telegraph: Pru braced for share-price volatility

Mr McGrath [Prudential's chairman] said that the huge growth potential in the Asian insurance market meant that Prudential had offered the right amount for such a valuable asset

"The market has a lot of cash that needs to be put to work," he said. "This is not a bail out. We're not raising capital because we have a problem. What we are doing is affording investors an opportunity to participate in a growth story over the medium term.

"Yes, it is bold and it is large but it has been very carefully considered. We know this business very well in Asia."

Pru's shareholders obviously are not happy with the planned acquisition of the "valuable asset" AIA; the worries might not be answered with above lines but they might be related to the question why troubled AIG is cashing in a mere $35bn for something that has a "huge growth potential" in the first place.

Carpe diem!

Thursday, 4 March 2010

climate change a`la China

It is all gonna be good;
or, China, the weatherman;
soon to come: the climateman.

For additional information please call your doctor or pharmacist
and read the enclosed leaflet - if there is one.

China Daily: Demand rising for weather modification

Weather manipulation is still a developing discipline that holds great potential, Zheng said. The country began modifying the weather on a local or regional scale in 1958.

Carpe diem!

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

USA's AIG's AIA...

and now Prudential's prudence?

Titian's Allegory of Time Governed by Prudence c.1565

prudential (comparative more prudential, superlative most prudential)


more prudential

most prudential

  1. Of, pertaining to, or arising from the use of prudence



prudence (uncountable)

  1. The quality or state of being prudent; wisdom in the way of caution and provision; discretion; carefulness; hence, also, economy; frugality.
    • 1876, Samuel Austin Allibone, Prose Quotations from Socrates to Macaulay, J.B. Lippincott, page 597,
      Prudence is principally in reference to actions to be done, and due means, order, seasons, and method of doing or not doing. - Sir Matthew Hale.
      Prudence supposes the value of the end to be assumed, and refers only to the adaptation of the means. It is the relation of right means for given ends. - William Whewell.

[edit] Synonyms

Telegraph: Prudential shares plummet on deal for AIG's Asian arm

Latest on second thought it makes one wonder why the U.S. as 80% shareholder of AIG is selling AIG's so called "sound Asian arm" at all? Must be the only sound part of the body!?

AIG has lost more than $115bn since September 2007; the US taxpayer, who ever that is, has pumped more than $180bn into AIG; very likely this is not the end of throwing fresh and wet money into what is an insurance company and the most important instrument to keep the global banksters' Ponzi scheme afloat.

Why sell that sound part?
Does Prudential know what they are doing?
Are they part of the scheme?

Carpe diem!

Monday, 1 March 2010

don't worry, just 'money'

Carpe diem!

the truth is in global...

it just seems nobody dares to say so!

Keeping yourself informed is easy. News nowadays are mostly dyed information but the wwweb's capacity, provided it is left uncensored and you are willing to dig deeper, helps to round up one's picture, one's views.

When it comes to our current problems there must be a certain level of agreement amongst global intelligence - referring to brains' capacities - which explains why very rarely the global scale of our crunch(es) makes the headlines.

Greece is discussed at length, the longer the more abstruse and offensive but with no solutions while sovereign debts of all global and definitely all wanna-be global players are way past comprehension; once the weakest link gives the rest will be waste paper.

UK's economic figures from growth to export, unemployment to imports are discussed same as bail out and stimulus packages as if we would live on an island in economic isolation (sorry, no jokes, please). At the same time Prudential purchases AIG's AIA (AIG's Asian business) and one of the first question is whether Pru's headquarter might be relocated to Asia.

Britain's Gilts lose Triple A lustre for investors hits the headline today accompanied by comments trying to comfort the readers with Britain's' level of debt and its servicing costs allegedly being more favorable than that of other triple A rated economies; tripe "A"? Who? We? Really? How much longer? What for? Why? What a relief!

Pound suffers sharpest fall in more than a year as prospect of hung parliament looms: is it really the British polls that make the currency tumble? Is it not rather the trust in a country and its economic strength? The trust that the global competitors are lacking? Or the rest of the trust the global gamblers are betting against? What is left of the City's corona and the nation's export strength - what of its political and economical influence?

The majority of all political systems and governments find themselves in economical gridlock; they all ran out of means, i.e. money, that simple. We lost the bailout battle as it was too little, too short but too many and above all too much. The spiral leads downwards! In fact the battles were programmed to be lost when we agreed to take part in a global game with faulty, unbalanced rules for some but the invitation for economic bonanzas for others. Hindsight is easy but foresight was blurred by $, € and £ cloud-cuckoo-land-dreams.

From global perspective - and that is what is the only one counting - the current delay in coming up with answers is an expression of the global incapability to solve any of the crunches and not the simple and rather naive attempt of single national governments to buy time for anything to turn to the better.

Global incapability not knowing where to move from here as any move more than likely will start the final meltdown.

Carpe diem!

the fast-food-crunch

A pretty deadly crunch, for a change!

Jamie Oliver's rather impressive TED talk in America making global sense.

Directly related a piece of art (not the blog but the news) on how ffood marketing works: "bull... (!)"

Wish you are not having that problem and none of your loved family members has!

Carpe diem!