Things I Found While Looking For Something Else – Part IV
By J.D. Neeson, President
Recently, I read an article that claimed German scientists had definitely proved that dogs align themselves along the North-South axis while defecating. Now, I didn’t realize there was contention on this issue, or that the University of Duisburg-Essen was willing to fund the study for two years (I would love to see the initial proposal and I bet a bunch of doctorial candidates cursed their careers paths). They monitored 1,893 major events and an amazing 5,582 liquid events over 70 dogs (37 breeds) and adjusted for magnetic field variations and the resulting analysis “revealed a highly significant and predictable effect,” said researcher Sabine Begall.
Not to be out done by the Germans, I immediately set up a testing protocol and began watching my daughter’s dog, Buttons. At the moment, Buttons does his part for science on a magnetic North/South line. About 90 percent of the time, Buttons is within half of a degree (!) from magnetic north. Of the remaining 10 percent of the time, I fancy Buttons is uncomfortable and feels something is just not right.
Besides being a bit frightening and pointing out that Facebook’s explanation of their security policy is just about impossible to understand, I was struck on how much of our privacy we have given away. And, lest you think the new Senate-passed computer privacy law will protect you, the law only deals with government agencies. Private companies are not mentioned at all and are completely exempt. There are really no secrets anymore. I am fashioning my aluminum foil hat.
China is always held up as a paragon of virtue when it comes to debt, but Bloomberg’s had an article talking about China’s corporate debt called “Corporate China’s Black Hole of Debt.” They described the growing corporate debt and pointed out that the since the majority of companies are state owned and that the banks who hold the debt are also state owned and the $1.3 trillion dollars in accounts receivable are from companies that are state owned, China may find it difficult to resolve the dilemma. Adding all the corporate, government, and household data together leads to a total debt that is about 206 percent of gross domestic product (GDP). Below is a comparison with the U.S.
% of GDP % of Gov % Business/Bank debt % Household U.S. 289 80 124 85 China 206 21.1 122 62.9
As a side effect of this round robin of payment failure (called triangular debt) there is a large amount of cash that is secretly leaving the country. Approximately $600 billion dollars (9 percent of the GDP!) are slipped out of the country and invested where the return is higher.
Many of these outside-of-China investments are in companies that are in turn doing business in China and often the Chinese who are secretly investing in these companies are big-wigs in the various government departments responsible for awarding the contracts to these same companies. These companies have been attracted to China by tax breaks and other incentives offered by the Chinese government. Needless to say, the Chinese government is rather dim on this practice yet a large number of government officials and their families are involved.
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March 14, 2014 / JD Neeson / 0
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Margaret Graham Neeeson
Margaret Graham Neeson
Marine Parts Express