Listen to my latest podcasts

There are two sites that feature my podcasts. People who support them on the Web - find my palavering real fun. I jibe at politicians and others - whenever they deserve it. The podcasts here are separated into those in Macedonian and the few in English. There is "About me" page too and some family pics. I plan to run conversational Macedonian chats, but need experience. This is on an OSX platform produced on a GarageBand and featured by iMac on iWeb. This is yet another, my all-Macedonian language podcasting facility put together and maintained by my friend George Zafirovski, an interface Merlin who builds (quickly) his reputation in London, UK. He is quite professional. So

Monday, November 23, 2009

Macedonia can outsmart its neighbors

A Macedonian daily published today an opinion that the neighbors of the poor country (Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, Serbia and Kosovo) are tightening the noose around it with an intention to suffocate and then quarter Macedonia. The long (1506 words) article, quite above the internet patience limit, attracted 5232 visits so far and numerous, very angry comments.

One among them tells the author (Dimitar Culev) that he is wrong for blaming the government of Macedonia of confused reaction and total lack of strategy because he himself does not have a clue how to respond to this situation.

This was the straw that broke the back of my patience. I simply must speak out.

Neither the present government nor its predecessors have committed any such crimes that deserve a Balkan-type posse after this peaceful nation whose only crime is the inspiration and the courage to call itself after its own name which now they all contest and claim theirs. My suggestion is that the people of Macedonia and the government must stay calm until the 7th of December when the EU needs to decide about the beginning of the accession talks. Then, in case no such date is set by the EU - two separate actions are needed.

First, the people have to press its government to let them speak out on a referendum about this unbearable state of affairs.

Second, the government, the president, the parliament have to declare their view of the situation in a joint State of the Republic of Macedonia Declaration.

This needs to lead to a proposal for declaring the Republic of Macedonia a visa-free, sort of off-shore country, duty and tax-free entity. A sort of a mixed legislation resembling a combination of Luxembourg, Andorra, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Panama.

Let all the neighbors, Albanians, Bulgarians, Greeks, Kosovars and Serbs travel and sojourn in Macedonia to buy Bayonne ham and Hertz salami, Rolex and Ulisse-Nardin watches, gold in bullion, olive oil, gas, tires, automobile parts and cars, Apple computers and iPhones, Zegna and Armani clothes at prices with AT LEAST 15% discount. Let the government turn Macedonia in the shopping mall of the Balkans.

How will the lost revenue from taxes be compensated?

By explosion of employment, capital inflow and - why not say it - trimming the bureaucracy and the armed forces. Transfer the pressure on the neighbors. Let them maltreat their own citizens returning with piles of purchases from Macedonia. Let them respond how is THAT phenomenon possible.

Make Macedonia the shop-window of all the attractive and necessary goods produced in the world and suddenly available at 30%-35% lower prices than in Salonika or Sofia and 20% beneath those in Tirana, Pristina and Nis where the goods are of dubious provenance.

The Parliament would have to kick upwards or sidewise the stubborn governor of the central bank and open the doors wide for foreign commercial and investment banks. There is a possibility of at least 5000 jobs to open up in that sector overnight.

The remodeling of the entertainment and tourist industry is a must with or without this arrangement. Casinos and all sorts of gambling facilities with red-light sections along the presently sleepy border communities. Legalize soft-drugs like the Dutch. Scrap the stupid law forbidding the farmers to meddle with the poppy, pass the initiative to your starved people, invite Pfizer and Novartis as consultants. SImply. No money, just use the pencil and some of your brains.

That is my proposal to evade the noose your Balkan neighbors are tightening around your neck dear Macedonia.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Robbing the poor pensioners

The orchestrated scam on the property market resulting with the failure of the big bankls in the US last year (also known as the "crisis", "the market crash" and so forth) had wiped out $5,400 billion (€3,590 billion) off the value of the pension systems of the industrialized world. This was reported (without much fanfare) by the OECD few weeks ago.

Now, can you imagine how big pile of money in bills of $5 you would build to make $ 5,400,000,000,000 in cash?

Why bills of $5 and not larger notes, say of $20?

Because a $5 bill buys a retired person bread, milk, pasta and apples, all what is needed for a day.

Maybe that would be a small mountain-size of cash. Maybe not.

But for 1,000,000,000 people the total (?) loss IS about 1100 days (three full years) less life .

In short: a bunch of smart asses fuck-up the system out of greed and one billion people need to perish three years earlier than God allowed them to live.

If you think a little you will probably ask yourselves where the hell was that money placed to perish so quickly in such a short time? If it was in state obligations, US Treasury bills - it would have been safe. Yeah, but it was not.

The managers of the wast majority of pension funds do NOT put the cash formed of monthly contributions of millions of working people in US *or RM) Treasury bills but in equities, stock, shares traded on the stock exchanges of the world.


Because stock, shares are bigger fun and MAY produce higher return than the fixed rate of return guaranteed by the state, whether USA, China, Macedonia or another. The average pension fund manager actually plays with the savings and lives of millions of people. When those managers goof it on the stock exchange or place enormous sums of money (for retirement benefits of unsuspecting people) then those contributors are duped, stolen, robbed of years and years of savings for some latter, distant day security.

This huge loss of $5,400 billion is irretrievable.

Gone. Perished.

ONLY IN COUNTRIES where the pension funds DO NOT put all of their liquid assets in stock (Norway, Turkey, Switzerland, South Korea and Germany) the pension fund did not lose money but grew. In these countries the pension funds invest only between 10% and a maximum of 20% in shares, in equities. I do not believe that the pension funds managers in either Turkey, South Korea or Switzerland are angels guided by heavenly hand and high morals. Methinks that it is a combination of rules, laws, oversight, control and culture that saved those pension funds from the awesome loss suffered by the other pension funds.

The stupidities of David Pilling on China

The other day Lionel Barber, the editor of Financial Times, disclosed that his main job was to stimulate talent and manage large egos. Since ages ago I was (almost) in the same position as Barber I hereby dare extend an unwarranted advice in a form of a purely facultative suggestion.

Mr Barber might begin downsizing those egos of his columnists by enticing them to read my blog dedicated to quartering FT content. Take for example David Pilling. This guy says:

" If China were to continue to prosper, the dead hand of government would have to be loosened in order to give private enterprise the space to create wealth.

This is a laughable statement.

1. Mr Pilling admits that the People's Republic of China does prosper now. Most of the observers agree with that. This confirms that China has been prospering with the dead hand of the government clenched on the society and the economy. The 1,3 billion citizen have been markedly growing better off and that is not the case with the populations of the countries of the liberal capitalism.

2. Mr Pilling does not explain why it will be impossible to continue prospering with the same dead hand gripping.

3. Mr Pilling suggests that the government in Beijing should give space to private enterprise to create wealth. That is absolute rubbish because the dead hand already and continually creates prosperity and wealth. When the private enterprise gets free hand then wealth disappears in thousands of billions of dollars and other currencies. People are evicted from houses. Millions go unemployed. Pension systems are depleted. The world sinks in chaos and only the traders of Goldman Sachs get rich sucking taxpayers money.

Mr Pilling should have a miniscule ego if he reads, with my modest self next to him, his article once again. Here is another nonsense.

"State owned banks (in the People's Republic of China) which now have foreign shareholders, have suddenly decided that this is the time to lend. This year, they have increased credit in local currency by more than 160 per cent. No one can imagine this is the choice of free agents responding to market signals.

In the US nearly $2,000 billion were (also very suddenly and also in local currency) extended by the Federal Reserve and others to save some big financial institutions while letting other sink. Those hand-outs were actually an unprecedented intervention by the dead hand of the US and other governments, money lent on a long list of conditions. Every single batch of state funds was administrative and totally flawed purchase into the ownership of the banks and insurance companies. In other words the US had nationalized the banks to save them from private enterprise and collapse.

No one imagined that those acts were the choice of free agents responding to market signals. The US market tumbled.

Everybody knew that the Big Money had persuaded the Big Politics to suck the taxpayers' money in order to save the society from chaos by forcing debt to present and future generations.

At a session of the Joint Economic Committee held this week, Republicans escalated their attacks on Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner, including a call for his resignation. Rep. Michael C. Burgess (R-Tex.) revealed the attitude of the House and the American people about the handling of the crisis. "I don't think that you should be fired," he told Geithner. "I thought you should have never been hired."

That is how inflated egos and plain incompetence are handled dear Mr. Lionel Barber of the Financial Times. Learn something from the communists. They, among other methods regularly applied a system of "friendly critic" and publicly expressed "self-critic" after visible blunders of individuals with inflated egos.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Herman Van Rompuy, How Could They?

woensdag 18 november 2009 10:06

herman van rompuy

if I know anything about politics this well matured provincial Herman Van Rompuy, 62, will be elected the first president of the European Union. That will be totally insane but having one Dutchman and another pureblood Luxemburgean (isn't that funny) as candidates, the prime ministers did not have much choice to oppose Tony Blair, by far the best, most global, most gifted from all of them even you put them in a bag.

So I decided to mark the event with a link to a great performance by this amazingly attractive, sensualCamille O'Sullivan who sings a song (titled Jackie( by a long gone Belgian singer-songwriter-composer Jacques Brel.

This is all inter-connected. I have a feeling that many of you have not heard of Jacques Bre. The man died some 30 years ago of lung cancer, but not before he composed "Ne me quitte pas" performed in 400 versions in 29 languages by singers like Ray Charles, Marlene Dietrich, Frank Sinatra, David Bovie, Nina Simone and others. He was a superb, socially very much involved songwriter and fine composer.

I hope that you will click to hear and see Camille O'Sullivan.

She just got 5-star review for a concert in London.

You may accept this as my consolation for this idiotical attitude to elect a president from among a bunch of marginal European prime-ministers. Not members of the European academies, no professors, no philosophers, no writers but day-to-day ephemeral local politicuses of small countries with absolutely no world-stage experience or vision.

Will China Fret After the Threat of the Clenched Fist?

You most probably know that Barack Obama, president of the US, met the other day in Beijing comrade Hu Jintao, president of the People's Republic of China. It was a private meeting. Being well informed bloggers you might also know what did they talk about, though I doubt it. But, I am positive you DO NOT KNOW what was Obama supposed to tell his host during that tete-a-tete exchange of views.

Now, there is this abrasive Martin Wolf, a columnist for the Financial Times, who knows exactly, word-for-word, what should have president Obama (hissing or between glistering fangs) told his Chinese host. Wolf and Financial Times are the mouthpieces of the rotten, avaricious, international, big (dirty and all) money.

If the FT spoke for the sinking, totally insignificant UK it would have been waste of time to deliberate about this article. Those words should have been "some brutal truths" on the following lines.

At first Obama should have sweet parleyed Hu Jintao saying that US believed that "the rise of a strong, prosperous China can be a source of strength for the community of nations".

Then Obama should have turned more businesslike and declare that the US simply does not care what happens with its primary creditor (China) after investing "incredible" amounts into US currency.

"I am president of the US. I am not going to put our economy into a depression, to protect the value of Chinese savings. After all, nobody in the US asked you to intervene on so massive a scale in currency markets and so accumulate the incredible total of $2,275bn in foreign currency reserves by September of this year, much of it in our currency.

Then, according to Wolf, the American should have unmistakably showed his teeth and growled by saying:.

"You have, I am sure, decided that such lectures mean nothing. What you may fail to understand is the speed with which democracies can shift their attitude from the open hand to the clenched fist. If, over the next year or two, your current account surplus exploded upward, while our deficit did the same, it would be impossible for us to ignore.

All this would not have been of any significance if provided by somebody else in another publication. Martin Wolf speaks for the wolfs and hawks of the international capital and therefore his position indicates the state of the collective mind of the power-shakers. This sort of reasoning is both illogical and false. The pressure on China to revalue the renminbi is more than absurd, it has no market sense. If the renminbi is so blatantly undervalued - why does not the US or the liberal capital managers simply buy as much of the Chinese currency as possible and (when Beijing eventually realizes that it is in Chinese and global advantage to revalue) make huge profit out of that?

To threaten China with a clenched fist is, mildly phrased, both laughable in the current state of affairs and idiotic as a concept of solving complex global disparities.