Sunday, 7 December 2008

The German Version of Stimulus

There is a discussion underway in Germany....over a stimulus package....kinda like the Bush package....but more complicated (naturally, that is the only way that a German political figure can make things).

So the deal talked about is this....every man and woman who earn money, thus paying taxes....get 250 Euro each (roughly $340 each). Then each kid in the family would get 150 Euro ($210 roughly). But the deal involves this curious loop-de-loop. You can only get the money....if you put money of your own. So lets say you were a family of three....thus to earn 650 Euro. The government vision is that you would have to put around 500 Euro of your own money.....to get a total package of 1150 Euro ($1400 roughly).

No one has rightly explained how you'd show the contribution of yours....or if this would be transferred to the government, and then transferred back with the full amount in your account. Most people say that there have to be absolute limits on the way its spent.....NO trips to Spain, NO pay-offs of loans, NO visits to hookers or bars.....which kinda spoils the way that most guys would use the money in the US....like running up to some casino for a weekend with the Bush-Stimulus check and having fun for 36 hours.

It'll be weeks....maybe even three months before they can come to some conclusion and agree on how this will work. Will I be getting some of this damn money? Yes....because of the damn German taxes I pay. So I got the Bush-Stimulus package and the German package. Pretty nifty....but frankly....I really don't care. They will get the money back as they raise taxes eventually to cover loses....so I'm not really gaining nothing. As for what'd I'd like to buy? Well....a 40-inch plasma tv would be real nice....or a lazy-boy recliner.

When Your Bank is Really No Longer Safe

This week....ever so quietly...in a small business magazine of really no importance in Germany....an event occurred. The journalists for the magazine went out....and were able to buy the details on bank accounts held by 21 million Germans are for sale on the black market for 12 million euros (15 million dollars). The journalists work for Wirtschaftswoche magazine...met with a couple of guys that were middlemen. They arranged for a CD with 1.2 million accounts to be part of their original deal...and the magazine arranged a down payment for that data.

To put it bluntly....as night fell yesterday....this little bit of news had circled around Germany...and alot of folks are asking questions...serious questions. Thank God...its the weekend and the questions can only be answered by dimwit political figures or journalists. The real experts are off skiing for the weekend or drinking heavily in Rome.

The truth is....this group of CD's cover one in four of Germans.

The immedate reaction by the government? Well...they stood around and then said they'd pass more laws to protect more data. The amusing thing is...there are sufficent laws on the books to protect the data....the goverernment is basically ill prepared to carry out their mission and the cops are limited in the knowledge and capability to take on such an intelligent group of individuals.

I paused for a while and considered this entire scenario. Who has the knowledge to carry out a collection like this....and have a very strong dislike of the German government to create such chaos? Liechtenstein. Yep, little Liechtenstein. The country that would barely fit in a US county.

If you remember the chaos created in the past year when the German intelligence folks went into Liechtenstein and picked up a listing of all of the illegal German accounts there....where money was being hidden by the German rich and elite...there was a terrible mess created. The banks in Liechtenstein were upset....the government and king of Liechtenstein were upset....and the rich Germans who carefully hid their money were upset.

I'm thinking this was a moment of revenge. When the Germans eventually come to the end of the collection point on this entire CD....they will find this was an arranged deal where someone did everything possible to let the Germans know that their own banking system is no longer safe. How many copies of the CD collection exist? Thats the insurance in this deal. The Germans won't be able to say a word in the public sector because of the threat of more disks appearing.

There will be a quiet moment at some cafe in France....probably on the streets of Paris...where a German intelligence guy meets some small player from Liechtenstein....and there is a moment of direct knowledge exchanged. If the Germans stop their aggressive behavior and anti-Liechtenstein program....then this CD collection stays hidden. The intelligence guy will smile and hint that everything is taped and the guy will be charged with something. The guy smiles back and says "every single law and security program you enact...will be undone in hours, not days". At that point...no one is smiling. The intelligence guy knows the other guys is right.

So there will be a quiet policy enacted....my humble opinion...where the attempt to prosecute rich elite Germans over their bank accounts ends. The anti-Liechtenstein effort goes down the tubes. And the nothing is ever said in public again....by any political figure in Germany. The news folks may ask questions over and over....but it simply won't matter.

When you tend to screw with people....if you are very lucky....they won't screw you back. Thats the best scenario. The other scenario....is worrisome....and we'd best not even open that can of worms.